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    Using Adversity to Your Advantage | Will Guidara

    en-usJune 06, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Balance of control and collaborationEffective leadership involves finding a balance between control and collaboration, allowing team members to feel a sense of ownership and empowerment while maintaining high standards.

      Effective leadership involves finding a balance between control and collaboration, allowing team members to feel a sense of ownership and empowerment while maintaining high standards. Will Gadera, a former co-owner of the world's number one restaurant, 11 Madison Park, and author of "Unreasonable Hospitality," shares his experiences and insights on this topic. Growing up with a quadriplegic mother and a heroic father who was a restaurateur, Will learned the importance of hospitality and leadership from a young age. His father's quote, "Adversity is a terrible thing to waste," inspired him to navigate challenges and grow as a leader. Will's leadership philosophy emphasizes giving team members the tools they need to succeed and trusting them to bring their best selves to the table. Despite his high excellence reflex, he believes that empowering people increases their responsibility and trustworthiness.

    • Leadership and EmpowermentEffective leaders strive for excellence but understand the importance of empowering their team and creating a culture of growth through feedback and autonomy.

      Effective leaders strive for excellence while empowering their team, but these two goals can be a delicate balance. The desire to control every detail can hinder collaboration and creativity, while over-reliance on team members can lead to inconsistencies. This tension was exemplified in a pivotal moment for a restaurant owner, who introduced a new menu celebrating New York City's history and ingredients. He micromanaged the service spiels, undermining his team's autonomy, only to receive a scathing review from the New York Times. In response, the leader apologized to his team, acknowledging the importance of feedback and the need for a culture of growth. The key takeaway is that great leaders strive for excellence, but also understand the importance of empowering their team and creating a culture that values feedback. Hiring "good people" involves finding individuals who share the organization's values and have the potential to create unforgettable moments of hospitality, while also providing them with the autonomy to be themselves within established boundaries.

    • Trust and EmpowermentEffective leadership involves creating a culture of trust and empowerment, allowing team members to take ownership and make decisions, even if they don't align with personal preferences. Neglecting trust can lead to negative consequences and hinder strategic growth.

      Effective leadership involves creating a culture of trust and empowerment, allowing team members to take ownership and make decisions, even if they don't align with your personal preferences. The speaker emphasizes the importance of focusing on the team's values and the negative consequences of a culture where team members don't feel trusted. He shares his experience of implementing this approach in his own business, where he allows his team to take the lead and make mistakes, recognizing that these experiences can lead to strategic growth. He also emphasizes the importance of allowing creativity and ideas that may not align with your preferences, as long as they align with the team's values. The speaker's genuine care for his team shines through, and he encourages leaders to prioritize a culture of trust and empowerment over perfection.

    • Constructive FeedbackConstructive feedback is an investment in people's growth and development. Give it thoughtfully, consistently, and privately, focusing on behaviors, not people, and assuming a charitable intention.

      Constructive feedback, whether it's praise or criticism, is an investment in people's growth and development. It's essential to give feedback thoughtfully, consistently, and privately to ensure it's received positively. Setting expectations and creating a culture that normalizes feedback is key. Criticize behaviors, not people, and avoid bringing emotions into the conversation. Consistency is crucial, and assuming a charitable intention before delivering criticism can help maintain a positive and productive exchange. In real-time environments, feedback should be given as soon as possible, but it's important to consider individuals' unique communication styles and preferences. Overall, feedback is an opportunity to help people improve and grow, and it should be approached with care and consideration.

    • Encouraging hospitality and creativityLeaders should encourage hospitality and creativity within individuals, lead by example, celebrate achievements, and make it easy for team members to deploy their ideas to deliver memorable experiences to guests. Losing and winning are both important parts of the journey to success.

      Creating a culture of hospitality and inspiring creativity in a team goes beyond hiring for pre-existing traits and training for excellence. Instead, it's essential to encourage and inspire hospitality within individuals and provide resources to help them bring their ideas to life. By leading by example, celebrating achievements, and making it easy for team members to deploy their ideas, leaders can create a team that delivers memorable experiences to guests. Losing and winning are both important parts of the journey to success. Leaders should celebrate victories and allow themselves and their team to feel the weight of disappointments, learning from both experiences and ensuring that success does not compromise character.

    • Emotional aftermath of achieving ambitious goalsBeing prepared for the emotional aftermath of achieving ambitious goals and focusing on the impact on others can lead to greater satisfaction and extraordinary impact.

      Setting ambitious goals and achieving them can bring great satisfaction, but it may also leave you feeling empty. To avoid this, be prepared for the emotional aftermath and focus on the impact you have on others. For highly competitive individuals, the drive to succeed comes not only from personal desire but also from a responsibility to lead and deliver on promises made to a team. The restaurant industry, for instance, has seen many number-one contenders prioritize food innovation, but what sets some apart is their relentless pursuit of making people feel seen, cared for, and loved. This "unreasonable hospitality" strategy, as described by the speaker, can lead to extraordinary impact in any discipline. As a leader, it's essential to be unreasonably passionate about people while maintaining a strategic balance. In personal life, focus on creating memorable experiences through quality time rather than trying to show off your abilities.

    • Fostering meaningful connectionsFocus on building relationships and creating meaningful experiences rather than just putting on a spectacular show, whether at home or in a business setting.

      When entertaining guests at home or running a business, the focus should be on fostering meaningful connections rather than just putting on a spectacular show. Whether it's in the kitchen or at a restaurant, the goal is to value the relationships with guests and create an environment that invites them to be a part of something greater. This can be achieved through intentional conversation, creating a welcoming space, and showing genuine care and consideration. For example, in a restaurant setting, the business can make a difference by inspiring customers to be better versions of themselves, providing a momentary escape from difficult moments, and creating a magical experience. Similarly, in a hardware store, the manager can create a culture of service and make a difference by helping customers bring their dreams to life and providing them with the tools and resources they need to improve their homes and lives. Ultimately, every job has the potential to make a positive impact on people's lives, and it's important to remember that the focus should always be on building relationships and creating meaningful experiences.

    • Hospitality, serving othersInvest in teams and serve others with generosity and unreasonableness, as emphasized by Will Gadera in 'Unreasonable Hospitality'. Connect with him for more insights.

      Hospitality, or serving others, holds a noble value. Will Gadera, the author of "Unreasonable Hospitality," emphasizes the importance of going above and beyond to serve people well. He encourages listeners to spread this message by entering a giveaway for a free copy of his book. Will also recommends two other books on hospitality and invites listeners to join him at the Global Leadership Summit. Connect with Will on Instagram, LinkedIn, or his newsletter Premial to continue learning from him. Overall, Will's message encourages leaders to invest in their teams and serve others with generosity and unreasonableness.

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