Marriott CEO's Letter to Trump

Sorenson Letter to Trump
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson is the latest company executive to write about the election results. In an open letter on LinkedIn, Sorenson offers some leadership advice.

The letter starts with Sorenson's views about government's role:

"The government has no business in our bedrooms – or our bathrooms. Everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or identity, has a right to live without interference in their private lives. Similarly, everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or identity, gender, race, religion disability or ethnicity should have an equal opportunity to get a job, start a business or be served by a business. Use your leadership to minimize divisiveness around these areas by letting people live their lives and by ensuring that they are treated equally in the public square."

Sorenson then focuses on three areas: "infrastructure, immigration reform and tax reform." As a hotel manager, Sorenson clearly is concerned about potential reductions in global travel and talent. He also encourages a more realistic approach for immigrants who are already in the U.S.  

Discussion Starters:

  • Why do you think Sorenson chose an open letter on LinkedIn as the medium for his message? What are some alternatives?
  • What principles of persuasion, discussed in Chapter 7 of the book, does Sorenson use? Try to find examples of logos, pathos, and ethos.
  • How does Sorenson's role as the CEO of Marriott influence his positions? Which of his suggestions would benefit hotel companies?
  • Should Trump respond? If so, how, and what should he say?