Ritz-Carlton President Simon F. Cooper says the key to his company's success is training the staff well, then trusting them to do their jobs. Every employee at Cooper's hotel chain can spend up to $2,000 to improve any guest's stay without seeking managerial approval -- whether it's used on champagne for a guest's birthday or on carpentry costs to make a beach wheelchair accessible. "It doesn't get used much, but it displays a deep trust in our staff's judgment," Cooper says.

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