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Unreasonable Hospitality


1. a: not governed by or acting according to reason b: not conformable to reason

2. exceeding the bounds of reason or moderation

(definition from Merriam-Webster)

I am currently wrapping up my first read through "Unreasonable Hospitality." The author, Will Guidara, has spent many years working in hospitality and was the co-owner of famous New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park. The book offers lessons learned from his work in the notoriously challenging restaurant business. It is full of pearls that have far-reaching applicability beyond the context of serving patrons in a four star restaurant in NYC. As Guidara explains,"whatever you do for a living, you can choose to be in the hospitality business” (p19).

Here are a few of my favorite quotes thus far.

On service vs hospitality-

“Service is black and white; hospitality is color.... 'Black and white' means you’re doing your job with competence and efficiency; 'color' means you make people feel great about the job you’re doing for them…. Engaging with the person you’re serving, so you can make an authentic connection- that’s hospitality.” (p5)

On leadership-

“A leader’s responsibility is to identify the strengths of the people on their team, no matter how buried those strengths might be.” (p66)

“Criticize the behavior, not the person. Praise in public; criticize in private. Praise with emotion, criticize without emotion.” (p68)

“make sure people who are trying and working hard have what they need to succeed.” (p75)

“The first time someone comes to you with an idea, listen closely, because how you handle it will dictate how they choose to contribute in the future.” (p116)

“sarcasm is always the wrong medium for a serious communication.” (p140)

On dreaming big and striving for excellence-

“Do less, and do it well.” (p158)

“’It might not work’ is a terrible reason not to try.” (109)

And, perhaps my favorite two- particularly as applied to our work in Guatemala...

“Start with what you want to achieve, instead of limiting yourself to what’s realistic or sustainable.” (p238)

”you need to be unreasonable to see a world that doesn’t yet exist.” (p. 6)

We very much look forward to continuing our "UNREASONABLE" efforts to deliver WORLD-CLASS HEALTHCARE to our neighbors in rural Guatemala.

~Thank you for joining us on this unreasonable journey.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash


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