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Marriott’s Ed Fuller Shares Leadership Expertise in His Book, "You Can’t Lead With Your Feet on the Desk”


As president and managing director of international lodging at Marriott International, Ed Fuller spent a significant part of his life flying in and out of the scores of countries where Marriott conducts business. His 10 million-plus miles taught him a lot about the value of getting out from behind his desk and building relationships that span cultural differences.

In “You Can’t Lead With Your Feet on the Desk,” Mr. Fuller explains how he and his small team of “pioneers” helped build Marriott’s global arm into one of the world’s largest international hotel chains and provides real-world advice on how to connect, manage and do business with people in any culture.

“The world belongs to passionate leaders—people with enormous amounts of energy who can energize and motivate those whom they lead,” Mr. Fuller said. “I hope that by sharing my business experiences and cultural insights from around the world, I can help others develop the intellectual savvy to be truly global and help whatever enterprise they lead—big or small—be successful.”

Using an array of colorful anecdotes experienced over his nearly 40-year history at Marriott, and earlier as a captain in the U.S. Army, to illustrate his message, Mr. Fuller explains how to navigate cultural nuances and language differences, unfamiliar geography and frustrating local bureaucracy. He shows how building trust, shared values and commitment to a true business partnership can help break down barriers and deliver profits. He demonstrates how personal relationships are the real currency of every culture and the bedrock of success in any enterprise.

Mr. Fuller knows what it takes to lead a team that successfully grew Marriott International’s overseas business from 16 hotels in six countries, grossing $325 million, to nearly 400 properties across 70 countries with revenues of approximately $7 billion. In “You Can’t Lead With Your Feet on the Desk,” he gives readers the information they need to build their competitive advantage:

* Build relationships through mutual respect
* Earn trust quickly by delivering during a crisis
* Understand how verbal and nonverbal cues can make or break a deal
* Lead from the front and be willing to give yourself the tough jobs
* Learn the local customs and history in order to create positive relationships

Mr. Fuller joined Marriott in 1972 as a management trainee and has held numerous positions of increasing marketing, sales and operational responsibility. Prior to assuming leadership for the growth of Marriott’s overseas arm, he was credited with establishing the company’s original international reservations network and for its sales and marketing organization in Europe and the Middle East. He served as a board member and chairman of SNR International, a reservations consortium based in Zurich. Today, in addition to his responsibilities at Marriott International, he serves in various leadership and advisory capacities on many educational, philanthropic and tourism boards. For more information, visit


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