Got an email yesterday from an old friend. He runs some radio stations for Clear Channel and just got back from Atlanta where he saw Roy H. Williams present his research on generational swings and how to ride the pendulum. We’re planning on presenting the material in a 90-minute entertaining fashion for free to small and medium-sized business owners in central Missouri later this summer. If you’d like a private showing for your company, let me know.
You know how hard it is to get a standing ovation from 500 PD’s? Highlight of
the conference, bar none.
‘PD’ stands for Program Director – the people responsible for the content you hear on your local radio stations. He left Atlanta a very happy person.
This week’s Monday Morning Memo:
you ever noticed how unhappy people always want to share their
unhappiness with you? It may come in the form of a whine, a complaint,
a rant, or sanctimonious "constructive criticism," but come it most
The thing to remember when an unhappy person begins spraying
unhappiness is this: It’s not really about you. It’s about them. And
the wounds they carry. So try not to internalize it.
Do you remember the Jewish father played by Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful?
He illustrated the idea that happiness can be chosen in spite of
unhappy circumstances; you are not a product of your environment. You
are a product of your choices.
Even weirder than unhappy people wanting to share their unhappiness
with you is the fact that happy people generally keep their happiness
to themselves. Why are we like this?
I have a theory about leaving tips on tables at restaurants: the size
of the tip isn’t really an expression of your judgment regarding the
quality of service you’ve received. It’s an expression of your
generosity, the bigness of your heart. It’s not really about the waiter
or waitress. It’s about you.
This idea can be especially fun when you receive truly abominable
service. That’s when you can leave a tip that’s totally over the top
and then smile all the way to your car as you contemplate all the
different ways the story might end:
1. The waiter, recognizing the tip as a gesture of love, pulls
himself together and has a much-improved day, giving everyone
exceptional service. Your ray of sunshine touches 276 lives before it
fades into the memory of yesterday.
2. The waiter, misinterpreting the tip as proof that it doesn’t
really matter whether or not he does a good job, continues his slacker
attitude and reaps the life of mediocrity he deserves. But sometimes,
late at night, he is haunted by the memory of the strange day he
received a 20 dollar tip for serving a 7 dollar sandwich. What was that
3. The waiter, shamed by the monster tip he knows he didn’t
deserve, assumes it must have been meant for the cook. Your gift has
now triggered a crisis of conscience. Will the waiter pass the tip
along to the cook and grow as a human being? Or will he "steal" it and
forever know himself to be a thief?
4. The waiter, desperately needing the extra cash, accepts the
tip as a gift from God. Congratulations, you are now an angel, God’s
messenger, a finger of His divine hand.
5. The waiter, truly stupid, believes he deserves the tip and
pockets it with bravado. Let him have his sad moment of glory. There
won’t be many like it in his life.
The bottom line is this: People need love. Especially when they do not
deserve it. And in the words of Iome Sylvarresta, "Love isn’t something
you feel. It’s something you give."
Do something good today for a person who has done nothing to deserve
it. Better yet, do something good for someone you don’t even like.
I promise you’ll have a better day.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Peter Nevland and Paul Finley have a new flash animated video. Check it out.
PPS – The Monday Memo is now available as an auditory MP3. Look to the
column at the left and you should see – just below this week’s featured
product – an icon to click to hear this week’s memo as read by the
author. You’ll also find some of the older memos available in audio
format in the archives. We’ll be reading and adding more of the old
memos as time permits, so keep an eye on the Monday Memo archives.