Two Cents Worth
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this Newsletter. In this “Two Cents Worth” space, I will be writing on a variety of topics each quarter. The objective of this is to share my thoughts on things that might be somewhat more subjective than just the “what’s going on in the Company” or “how are we doing”. Those things are certainly important, and I will try to cover those in another section. But this will be more of a grab bag of things related to culture, our industry, leadership/management, and other things. I will try to be concise and I will try to make it interesting. I will probably fail, but I will try.
So, on that note, I thought I would address “failure” this month.
My favorite quote of all time is “success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with equal enthusiasm”. Sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln and sometimes to Winston Churchill. Either way, I think they are great words to live by.
I remember when I worked for a large multi-national Company, our Chairman of the Board was Barry Diller who is a very famous and successful media mogul. He was telling the story of his career and it was shockingly just full of failure. And while somewhat cliché, his main point was that he would not have been able to break new ground and innovate and become truly effective and successful if he had not failed along the way. Often. The key, he said, was to learn from these so called “failures” and to never get too down on oneself. The worst thing one can do is let a failure bog one down for too long.
Our Company fails all the time. And I welcome that. I like to call if “failing forward”. We don’t celebrate the mess ups. But we don’t beat ourselves up about them either unless it is the same failure over and over. That would indicate a lack of learning and changing. And learning and changing leads to growth. Failure isn’t a growth experience if it is a result of apathy or lack of effort either. But if we mess up because we are mindfully trying to push things to another level. Well, that’s progress. And nobody makes progress unless they fail occasionally.
Another way to think about it is the idea of getting out of one’s comfort zone. Its easy to stagnate in a comfort zone. One doesn’t fail much in that place for obvious reasons. But one doesn’t grow and advance and catalyze change much either. And that’s fine. Its just not what we are about.
I am so proud of our Company, warts and all. And of all of you. We don’t sit still. In the last 18 months we have opened 6 restaurants and closed 2!. That’s ok. We have gone from 150 people 4 years ago to almost 500 now. We occupy a deeply respected place in the hospitality industry in a city with one of the top hospitality cultures in the world. Why? Because we try hard. Fail often. And succeed more.
Thank you all for all you do. I am so grateful to be with you on this journey.
All the Best