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Troublemakers Unite

Crew, criticism, and collaboration.
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5 Minutes of Fresh Perspective

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Troublemakers Unite

This week’s dive into Will Guidara's book Unreasonable Hospitality is right up our alley as he discusses all the benefits of breaking rules and championing collaboration.

Let’s dig into these unconventional tactics together and discover how they craft unforgettable experiences.

Leveraging Inexperience

Guidara emphasizes how his outsider perspective in the fine dining world was actually a plus, allowing him to rethink and reshape the guest experience from a fresh, unencumbered viewpoint.

He says, “My inexperience enabled me to look critically at every step of service and to interrogate the only thing that mattered: the guests' experience. Did a rule bring us closer to our ultimate goal, which was connecting with people? Or did it take us further from it?”

Guidara shows that not being bound by industry conventions opened up new possibilities for innovation. Consider how this can also apply to valuing diverse perspectives within your teams. Encourage those without traditional backgrounds to offer insights that might challenge the norm but ultimately lead to more meaningful connections with clients or customers.

The Value of Criticism

Another facet of Guidara’s rule-breaking leadership is his open embrace of criticism. “What criticism offers you is an invitation to have your perspective challenged,” he notes, advocating for a leadership style that values openness and honesty.

Effective leaders are those who view criticism not as a threat but as an opportunity to reassess and possibly improve their strategies. It’s all about fostering a culture of continuous learning, being willing to pivot based on new insights, and maintaining an open dialogue with your team.

Better Together

Guidara’s vision for EMP was built on the foundation of constant collaboration across all levels of the team. A relentless commitment to teamwork ensures that everyone feels invested in the collective success.

Foster an environment where teamwork and collaboration are daily practices, not just during meetings or special projects. Encourage dialogue, idea sharing, and joint problem-solving among all departments to cultivate a cohesive, innovative team that works seamlessly together. Make collaboration not just a part of the workflow but a defining characteristic of your organizational culture.

Trust Your Team

Guidara also highlights the importance of building a quality team, both for himself and the restaurant, as well as a common courtesy to the work-family he’d already built. He says, “The best way to respect and reward the A-players on your team is to surround them with other A-players.”

If you’re hiring the very best people you can, keeping an open dialogue, and providing them the necessary resources needed to thrive, you should feel comfortable with handing over the reins.

Assigning ownership across your team does more than just boost morale; it also drives innovation. When each team member owns a piece of the process, they’re more invested in the outcome.

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