Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, March 2019, Message from the Chairman

Steven FerryMessage from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

This month, I’d like to share the words of a friend of more years than I’d care to say publicly, and a business colleague who owns a PR and marketing agency ( that is most socially inclined, as well as very effective. Her words resonate in our field, too, and reinforce the focus of the Institute since its founding:

“Today, thanks to questionable algorithms, split-sourced DNA testing, dating surveys, smart homes, smart phones and smart devices, we are told how to think, how to feel, how to choose a new car, a date, our career, our music, almost everything. We have bought into this lifestyle for convenience, economics, safety, or for fear of being disappointed.

But for the price of convenience, what have we sacrificed?


Every being has emotions and these emotions actually drive 85% of all decisions.  Emotions, or their parallel – feelings, are sourced by the individual and are important. Emotions and feelings are the basis of creativity, philosophy, relationships, and yes, business. Emotions have energy and can range from the solidity of boredom to the depths of cynicism and deceit or rise exponentially through tiers (or tears) to enthusiasm and exhilaration and beyond. It is these emotions and feelings that add variety to life.

Whenever I feel the solidity of seriousness and cynicism creep into my life, I take a step back and look around and find something that’s exciting.  I touch that truth that permeates childhood that somehow we seem to forget as we “grow up”—the innocent joy of a cardboard box that just became a ship traveling the seas of adventure or speaking like Donald Duck thanks to a leaky helium balloon. It’s so important not to lose that innocent curiosity and boundless enthusiasm. We need to consciously unlearn the seriousness of life. I seek to surround myself with those who know and appreciate all of life’s greatness and greet each day with enthusiasm.

The naysayer will bark that life is hard, we have challenges, people are suffering, there is inequity, you must pay your dues, there is unfairness, time is money, money is everything ….sure, these points may be true. However, the truth is, the emotion that you choose to respond to challenging issues or even day-to-day life, will determine the results.

My daughter once took me to climb Mt. Whitney for my birthday. Though we did not summit, not on that trip, she showed me how to enjoy the climb, the alpine flowers, the camaraderie of our group, the fun of a great meal once we returned. Her enthusiasm vaporized any unwanted emotions. Her enthusiasm acknowledged the accomplishments of a different goal, a different summit. Of the journey itself.

A few additional truths about emotion that may help guide your success … if you surround yourself with those who make you feel bad, less able, minimized … that is their intention and it is time to move on. If your enthusiasm for your work, your relationship, your family is belittled or dampened, find who is causing that effect on you and likely on others and get them to move on. If you feel victimized or are having a hard time making improvements in any activity, look around and find the source of that energy and yes, move on. Surround yourself with those who stoke your fire, who believe in you and bring enthusiasm to life.
You are capable of greatness. We are here to help you achieve this….enthusiastically.”


The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people- skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.