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Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,636 ratings  ·  69 reviews
After fifteen years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley's company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the, post-9/11 economy. For relief and inspiration, Conley, the CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow's iconic Hierarchy of Needs. This book explores how Conley's company ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2007)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  1,636 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Colleen McCarthy
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Usually I hate business books because they have one premise and it takes them 300 pages what could be told in one 5 page HBR article. But this book is different, Conley builds on the premise and I felt I learned new things all the way to the end of the book. It is a really compelling and insightful and gave me tons to think about re: both the products I sell and the people I manage. And it gives some pretty tangible examples that you can use in your own organizations. Highly recommended for anyo ...more
Otis Chandler
Sep 23, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
Just heard a talk by Chip which was very inspirational. He talked a lot about Abraham H. Maslow's hierarchy, and how it can be applied to employees, customers, and investors. Employee pyramid is: salary => recognition => calling. I thought his principles were similar to Tony Hsieh's book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. He even mentioned this was true, and that Tony and 10 other companies that had great culture had all studied Maslow (Apple, Southwest, Google, ...more
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
I like the idea. However I'm always curious if these things are just too affected by survivor bias. Was this idea causal, or just correlated? Is it sufficient? Yes, I think that making sure people are engaged and motivated and well cared for are good things, even great things, but I'm not sure that's all you need for a successful business.
Omar Halabieh
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "This book is about the miracle of human potential: employees living up to their full potential in the workplace, customers feeling the potential bliss associated with having their unrecognized needs met, and investors feeling fulfilled by seeing the potential of their capital leveraged."

2- "Maslow's message struck a chord with many business leaders. In essence, he said that with humans, there's a qualitative difference
Alexandra Daw
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this quite an interesting audio book but the frustration with it was that I really needed to see it in print. Chip recommends quite a lot of reading and that's the frustrating bit about audio books is that you can't write stuff down as you're barrelling along the M1, I also wonder if he was the best person to read the audio book. I know that sometimes its great to hear it from the horse's mouth but sometimes the delivery could have had more "light and shade" as they say in the business. ...more
Tadas Talaikis
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Boring like heaven. Usually I fall asleep once or less per book for a minute, this one sent me for three. Original source, probably as for everything else, was much better.

"How to create meaning?" "Read "man's search for meaning" and watch "Schindler's list"". Wow, excellent advice, thank you. Here's new framework: almost everything in life of products is sh*t, except it is related to some real survival-base problems (for example, you need steel/ bricks to build a home). So, if you want to sell
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Conley describes how his company, Joie De Vivre Hospitality, has applied Maslow's theory of human needs to achieve impressive success in the hotel history. His straightforward model is explained clearly and backed by the success he achieved even during the worst possible business environment. There are many books about creating a profitable company and many about the importance of corporate culture and people. What I like about this book is that it shows why and how the human factors impact the ...more
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
CEO of Joie De Vivre hotel chain writes about his approach to business through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Quite a personal book, exploring how Conley re-discovered Maslow during the dot bomb recession and used that to re-focus his business.

Details: This is an engaging easy to read book, and excels when Conley explores his own motivation through Maslow's framework. The classic Hierarchy of Needs is a great lens in which to frame ideas, and Conley explores it for the benefit of the customer, emp
John Stepper
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
A good book and made more credible given its written by a CEO of an excellent hotel company.
Dan Sumption
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
In this book, Hotel and hospitality entrepreneur Chip Conley repurposes psychologist Maslow's hierarchy of needs (a pyramid-shaped diagram showing people's most basic needs - physiological sustenance and safety - at the bottom, through layers of belonging and esteem, to the peak level of self-actualisation) and places it in a business settings. For an employee, the base of the pyramid represents adequate payment for their work, the middle is about a sense of belonging, and the top is where they ...more
Michael Brisciana
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Chip Conley goes deeper into applying Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs than I've ever read before. He does an outstanding job of applying our basic human needs for security, belongingness, esteem, etc., that Maslow outlined to the world of work. He does so comprehensively and uses an endless array of real-life examples culled from his career leading his boutique hotel chain as well as his later work advising Airbnb. Their are deep insights here into human nature and how to tap into our common needs a ...more
Wai-kit Ng
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
There are 3 relationship truths, as the author puts it - one for the employee, one for the customer and one for the investor. All based on Maslow hierarchy of needs. I thought the pyramids for the employee and customer were spot on. When it got to the investor pyramid, it was rather contrived. Then came the heart. That didn't work for me. Nonetheless, the first half of the book was superb and worth a read.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was full of great information, and I learned from it. For some reason, though, it took me a good 6 months to get through it. It was thought provoking, and the knowledge I gained will be useful moving forward, it just didn't inspire passion. It is clear though, that Chip is passionate about the subject, which definitely helps.
Kristin A. Kirby
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
My favorite part of the book was when he talked about the hierarchy / pyramid of human actualization. We go from defining ourselves by what we have, to what we do, to eventually who we are. Having -> Doing -> Being
Sherri Dishon
Gives a good overview of the joy de vivre hotels. Listened to the audio book which had unnatural pauses at some places which I believe took away from the information a bit. Has a nice list of book recommendations after each chapter.
Adam Ashton
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this break down and application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Having just read the original Maslow essay, this was a great way to APPLY it. A little too many examples for my liking, could’ve been 60 pages shorter with half of the examples, but nevertheless I enjoyed it
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed the application of Maslow's pyramid to business and plan to incorporate more of the thinking about the hierarchy into my work. (We already apply it and Bloom's taxonomy a bit; this gives us a boost in ways to think about it.)
Blair Kessler
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Strong book on finding meaning in purpose in where and what you do for work.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing

As Conley explains in the Preface, "This book is about the miracle of human potential: employees living up to their full potential in the workplace, customers feeling the potential bliss associated with having their unrecognized needs met, and investors feeling fulfilled by seeing the potential of their capital leveraged." I agree with him that all great leaders know how to tap into this "potential" and actualize it into reality." Moreover, I also agree with Conley that great leadership can - an
Gene Babon
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
Get your Mojo from Chip Conley and improve your business. In Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow Conley presents a blueprint on how to construct a pyramid of happy employees, customers and investors.

Most employees in today's economy (those who are working) are working in "infectious fear factories" and it doesn't have to be that way. Conley bases his Peak model on Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which can be distilled into three essential levels: survival, success and transf
William Keyser
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley, the founder of the boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality. What's specially interesting about this book is the fact that the chain suffered hugely less than the big boys misery after 9/11. Chip describes the new way of doing business that was a bit revolutionary then, even though it may be business-as-usual these days. He believed he believed “creating joy of life” for customers and employees was a noble goal.
Even thoug
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathy by: Nick Dawson
Having heard about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs from my daughters, I was curious to see how it fit into Chip Conley's business plan. The book was given to me by a friend who has witnessed my struggle to find meaning in the corporate culture of medicine. While the "Investor's Pyramid" was not very helpful to me, the "Customer Pyramid" and "Employee Pyramid" made a lot of sense and helped to define some of what I see missing in the not-for-profit world of healthcare systems. Stifling innovation and ...more
Kurt Gielen
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After staying away from "business" books for nearly a year because I was so fed up with hearing the same stories being recycled over and over again, this book was the first business book I picked up after that period.
Now of course you can say that Chip only recycles Maslow which he absolutely does, but first of all I have never read Maslow's book, I was only familiar with the general concept of his needs. And secondly, he builds upon the basic theory of Maslow.
And when he brings together the 3 p
Cheryl Anne
It took me a long time to get through this book, but it was worth it. After each chapter, I would spend some time reflecting on how the concepts introduced could be applied to both my personal and professional life.

Conley presents his message of consciously seeking transcendental experiences without sounding self-righteous or evangelical. He simply presents how he was able to use Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a template to save and nurture his business and offers himself as an example of how i
Ryan Giffen
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Conley gives readers an excellent overview of one of the many motivational theories out there: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Conley tells his story through the lens of a CEO who began and operated Joie de Vivre (JDV) Hotels in 2001.

For managers and executives in the hospitality industry (or any service based industry), this is a must read if you want to understand how to motivate and retain highly productive employees. The key is simple: money will not retain and motivate. Get this book and lear
Dan Graham
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Chip is Maslow crazed. He crams business management philosophy over and over again into Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, then he starts making up his own pyramids for each section of the business and then starts building pyramids out of those pyramids and sticks hearts in the gaps…it’s crazy! The book was ok — it was recommended by the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and although I think he probably over recommended it, it’s probably a worthwhile read for HR oriented folks and has some good ideas on keeping e ...more
Alvaro Raba
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A real page turner...even though it drags a little on the investors part, this book is a transformative experience using a simple concept like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and applying it to the current business landscape. Chip Conley is able to transmit his years of experience in the hospitality industry into a book that not only works a guide for individuals in different careers, but also provides an expanded reading list to further develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
Devin Partlow
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book, would have been 5 stars if so much time wasn't spend summarizing other bools the author has read.

If you've heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but you haven't heard any proper practical applications of this hierarchy, this is the perfect book for you. Conley applies the hierarchy to customers, employees, investors, then to one's self! He even has a number of peak prescriptions for applying each level of the pyramid. Very practical stuff!!
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best and most readable business books I've read. Chip Conley takes a complicated model (Maslow's) and applies it to business, showing how it can help bring employees, customers, and investors to "peak" performance and/or satisfaction. He even ties them all together at the end and shows how it can be applied for personal peaks too. A must read for anyone who wants to grow professionally.
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. Chip talks in basic terms with lots of good examples about what it takes to find and create meaning in business for customers, employees and investors. I found myself really thinking about our customer focus in new ways. He has a great sense of humor and shares his personal triumphs and challenges. And, I love Joie de Vivre hotels, so the story of their start is relevant to me.
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At the age of 26, Chip Conley started his own hospitality company, Joie de Vivre (JDV), and, as CEO for two-dozen years, expanded it into a collection of over 35 award-winning hotels, restaurants and spas – the second largest boutique hotel company in the U.S. The bestselling author of PEAK, Chip is a veteran practitioner of emotional intelligence in business and in his latest book, EMOTIONAL EQUA ...more