Summary of Peak

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Chip Conley’s philosophy of business is also a practical guide to success. He shows you how to find self-actualization through helping others – in this case, by providing your employees, customers and investors with what he calls peak experiences. He uses an unusual framework for his recommendations about workplace culture: psychologist Abraham Maslow’s well-known “hierarchy of needs,” with self-actualization at the highest level. The book is nicely organized, with “peak prescriptions” and reading lists at the end of each chapter. getAbstract recommends it to managers and workers who need a boost.

About the Author

Chip Conley holds an M.B.A. from Stanford, has written two previous books, and is the founder of California’s largest consortium of boutique hotels, Joie de Vivre Hospitality.



Chip Conley Meets Abraham Maslow

Psychologist Abraham Maslow focused on psychological health rather than pathology. He believed all people must fulfill a series of graduated needs to reach their full potentials. Once you fulfill basic, physical needs, you desire higher-level satisfactions. As Maslow said, “The human being is a wanting animal...As one desire is satisfied, another pops up to take its place.” Maslow conceived of human needs as a pyramid with five levels: “Physiological, safety, social/belonging, esteem and self-actualization.”

Maslow’s pyramid has helped both individuals and organizations discover their purposes and make better choices. When Chip Conley learned about the pyramid, he decided his organization, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a chain of boutique hotels in the San Francisco area, should meet his customers’, staff members’ and investors’ high-level needs, not just their basic ones. He wanted them to have the peak experiences that come with self-actualization.

Conley graduated from Stanford Business School, and from the beginning he believed that his business was an expression of himself and his beliefs. His first business venture was the ...

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