June 27

Unreasonable Excellence: Going Above and Beyond in Business

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If you could be unreasonable about something in your business or in your career,  what would it be and why?

Now, when I say unreasonable, I’m not talking about an unwillingness to cooperate. I’m talking about unreasonable excellence, the area in your business for which you go above and beyond the call of duty. The special something that really sets you apart.

The reason I’m asking this question is because whilst in New York recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing the renowned Eleven Madison Park, a restaurant with many accolades and the reputation for unreasonably outstanding hospitality. 

From the spectacular plant-based menu, the intentional connection from each member of staff, to the dedication to ensure each guest had a special experience, it was apparent why Eleven Madison Park has become legendary.

And it got me thinking – how can we follow their lead and show up in an equally extraordinary way in our own businesses?

Today, we’re talking about recognising what sets us apart in business, and making the choice to show up in an unreasonably excellent way that’s unique to each of us. We’ll also explore the power of connection, and how being intentional with it can create a ripple effect that transforms lives. 

So, ask yourself: what changes might you need to make to really show up in your business in a spectacular way? Chances are you’re already sitting on the answer – it’s all about following through and embracing the authority you have to let your gift shine. 

 

Submit your Question: Spotify – click the button below. All other platforms – send me a DM on Instagram or email: [email protected] 

 

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Transcript

Janine: [00:00:00] If you could be unreasonable about something in your business or in your career, what would it be and why? The reason I'm asking this question is because whilst I was in New York recently, I had the pleasure, the joy, the experience of going to Eleven Madison Park with my great mate, friend, fellow thought leader, Gabrielle Dolan.

Now, Eleven Madison Park has won so many awards, so many accolades for the food, for the experience, for the service. So I was really looking forward to experiencing this restaurant myself. And from the moment we walked in, I knew it was going to be a little bit different. From the welcome as we came through.

The front doors, the fact that there wasn't a [00:01:00] reception desk, a reservation desk, there was no ticking off of names or asking us what time we've booked for. It was a beautiful welcome as we walked in the room and we were showed to our table. As we proceeded to experience this pretty spectacular plant based menu, it became really apparent that the entire evening was going to be a little bit special. Every single member of staff was intentional about how they connected, about how they engaged in conversation. Their genuine interest in who was sitting at the table, in who you were, why you were there,

the curious questioning, the deep listening and the intentionality to ensure that every single experience was going to be experienced in the way. That they wanted you to experience it. We had James, [00:02:00] the restaurant manager approaching us and standing at our table and as he's, as he's telling us about the history of the restaurant, the impact of all of these incredible awards for the restaurant, people around him without us even noticing are taking the plates, and they're really, you know, watching for the signs of what He wanted to happen next for us.

He asked us lots of questions about home, about why we were there, about the work that we were doing. And then Sam, the sommelier was telling us the stories behind the stories, behind the stories of the wine and shared with his, with us, his excitement at winning sommelier of the year.

The whole experience was incredible. We shared stories of home. We shared stories about our books. We even. Got asked, who would you love to meet most in New York and why? And Gabrielle is a raving Kylie Minogue fan. And she was like, I would love to meet Kylie Minogue. I mean, who wouldn't? [00:03:00] She's Australian.

She's iconic. Of course, I'd love to meet Kylie Minogue. The whole experience was like sitting, At someone's home dining table, having this exceptional, beautiful, stunning food, not paid guests in a restaurant, being served what was expected. The whole experience was incredible. And then just before dessert arrived, Emma approached the table and said, ladies, please follow us.

And she took us into the kitchen and in the kitchen, we had the opportunity to meet. The head chef who proceeded to tell us all about the food that we'd been eating, how it had all been prepared. He showed us around the stations. He introduced us to the sous chefs. He was even happy, maybe, uh, comfortable with us taking photos and shooting video.

it was incredible. And then we got ushered into the wine cellar. This wine cellar, picture this, the, the wine [00:04:00] literally was four to ceiling. We were shown wines, the oldest wine from the 1820s. We were most expensive wine. And as we're walking through this wine cellar, we start hearing music.

I'm spinning around, move out of my way. Yep. Kylie Minogue was playing. We carried on through this wine cellar and we turned the corner and of course we hoped it was Kylie Minogue, but it wasn't. Apparently she wasn't around. She wasn't close enough to be able to get in. But what was there were Kylie Minogue's favorite cocktail from Eleven Madison Park.

And they set up this little table with this pop quiz. We spent the next half hour in the back of a wine cellar in Eleven Madison Park, dancing along to Kylie Minogue, drinking cocktails, and giggling as we completed a 10 question [00:05:00] pop quiz to really see how much of a fan of Kylie Minogue we were. Now, granted, I am not as much of a fan as My mate, Rao, she got all the questions right, and at the end of it, we were given a Kylie Minogue it all certificate.

We have just experienced an 11 Madison Park legendary moment. This restaurant is renowned for these moments. There are stories of people sat at the dinner table, going, Oh my gosh, we're going home tomorrow and we haven't yet tasted a New York hot dog. And suddenly From nowhere, the staff, the chef have gone out of the restaurant, they've gone to the local, the best hot dog stall, uh, street stall and they've grabbed the hot dog and they've brought it back and they're being served a New York hot dog.

Stories of families seeing snow for the first time and the restaurant [00:06:00] organizing sledges and a taxi off to Central Park so that this family could enjoy. Snow for the first time. Legendary moments, legendary moments that can only be created if you listen carefully, if you ask curious questions, if you are intentional about connecting.

And it's these legendary moments that Eleven Madison Park have become famous for, because Eleven Madison Park are unreasonable about service. It's. Now, for me, this got me thinking, this whole experience for me, really got me thinking and actually reiterated for me the importance of connection. Because these moments, these moments that are memorable, these moments That become stories like I'm sharing now can only happen when you intentionally connect, when you are [00:07:00] curious about how you can help someone else.

And when you are not just interesting, but actually you are interested in the person that you are chatting to. And for me, in my work, this is why I'm so passionate about the power of connection because when we connect in this way. When we don't connect in this way, by the way, it's transactional connecting.

It's a transfer of information. It's very shallow. It's very superficial, but this connection is transformational connection. This is the power of building networks around you where remarkable things can happen. This is where it's that transfer of humanity, where you have the power to create impact on the people to the left and right of you, up and below you, and that ripple effect happens.

It's exactly what happened in 11 Madison Park that day, that evening. Are Kylie Minogue it [00:08:00] all experience? Because 11 Madison Park are unreasonable about. service unreasonable about hospitality has become the thing that both Rel and I keep telling, keep sharing, not necessarily the food we had, which was remarkable or the wine we had or the cocktails that we had, which were remarkable, but it was the hospitality and this legendary moment.

So my question to you is when you think about your business, When you think about your career, if there were one thing, if there was one thing that you want to become known for, that you are unreasonable about, what is that thing? For us in our business, it is connection. We're unreasonable. Um, and we're going to talk a little bit about connection.

This means that as a team, we're curious about the people that come into our world. We are curious [00:09:00] always about how we can serve and how we can help. And we're curious about how we can connect in a human way. How can we make sure that that connection is something different, not mass market, not transactional, but how can we personalize that connection?

So that it will be remembered. It's also why in my business, it's not about, working with thousands and thousands and thousands of people. But it is about working with a group of smart people where we can get to know them, where we can intentionally connect, where we can work closely to develop the right strategies that work for their business to achieve their goals.

So think about your business. Think about your career. Yeah. What would you like to become unreasonable about, or what are you already unreasonable about? Is it, like Eleven [00:10:00] Madison Park, you're unreasonable about hospitality? You're unreasonable about service? About excellence? About, knowing somebody by their first name?

About your response? times about your product, about how you deliver that product, about events that you put on, about whatever it is. What do you want to be known for? And what are you going to be unreasonable about? I think that this thing gives you a competitive advantage. It becomes the thing that you get known for and it becomes that point of difference between what you do and how you operate versus everybody else in your industry.

I think it becomes the thing that has longevity and I do believe that it becomes the thing that builds your authority. And the thing that will build your positioning in your industry. So take some time this week to think [00:11:00] about what do you want to be unreasonable about and how are you going to follow through on that?

What changes might you need to make in your business or how you're showing up at work? Hope you've enjoyed this episode, have a great week, and I look forward to connecting next week.


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