I like to think I take pride in my work, and the fact of the matter is I do. I also happen to be one of those annoying people who love what they do. And I’m also appreciative of the opportunities that have been presented to me. “Shut up already” you’re saying… so let me get to my point, every once-in-a-while I meet someone who makes me look like a lazy, unhappy ingrate. And I love it when I do. One of those guys is Shankar, a chef at the JW Marriott in Pune, India. That’s him up there in the picture.
In the last year and a half, I have probably spent 50 nights at the JW Marriott Pune. Which means I’ve had close to 50 breakfasts in the buffet there. Which means I’ve seen Shankar almost 50 times because I – and my waist – can assure you I stop by his pancake/waffle/french toast station just about every day. And every single day, every single time, every single order of french toast, every waffle, every plate of pancakes, Shankar not only smiles, is not only energetic but meticulously creates artwork out of the food he is about to serve you. It looks so beautiful I almost hate to eat it… almost…
Often when I meet with new employees or contractors or consultants, I let them know I don’t mind mistakes, I don’t mind ideas that don’t work, I don’t mind taking a big swing and missing… but one thing I will not tolerate, that will cause great disdain with me, is perfunctory… Just doing something to get it done doesn’t get it done for me. So, if I had my way, I would take every new employee to have breakfast at the JW Marriott just to witness Shankar. Without saying a word, without them having to read some management book or the latest essay in HBR, employees would learn one of the great not-so-secrets to living a good life. Taking pride in what you do, without exception.
So while my waistline may not appreciate it… I can tell you my soul and spirit certainly appreciate what Shankar provides for me every morning. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll have just a little more syrup….
Do yourself a favor. Be like Shankar!