Monday, April 06, 2009

Talent, Enthusiasm, and A Personal Touch

Took my wife to dinner at the local Macaroni Grill this past weekend. I like the Macaroni Grill; it's a quick trip, consistently good Italian food, and a fairly nice atmosphere. There's better food and atmosphere to be had, but now we're talking an hour drive instead of 10 minutes. I make the extra drive for special occasions, but the Macaroni Grill is awfully convenient for those "hey, let's get out of the the mood for Italian" types of evenings.

So we're eating dinner at the Macaroni Grill, nice but nothing spectacular. Then a college-age young man comes by the table and introduces himself as Tim, the in-house singer. Tim asks if he may give us a table-side serenade with a little Italian opera. Sure, why not? Tim launches into a wonderful operatic delivery of "A Time For Us" from the soundtrack for the 1968 release of "Romeo and Juliet" (in Italian, of course). Turns our nice evening into a special evening with his talent and enthusiastic delivery. Of course, I tip Tim when he's done. Now I'm sure Tim's been tipped before, but he acts as though my little tip has changed his life. Hugs and further introductions all around, then he nicely chats us up for a minute before moving on...just to make us feel even more special. Tim's serenade, which took about two minutes and probably cost Macaroni Grill next to nothing, just made our evening...a little talent, a little enthusiasm, and a little personal touch.

So the experience got me to thinking. In my profession, I see lots of talent. Some enthusiasm, but also lots of folks just going through the motions. Even less in terms of a personal touch. In today's tough market, I suspect that a combination of talent, enthusiasm, and a personal touch will help set you apart from the pack. How many of us know our technology, love what we do, and also add a little personal touch (as in I want to help you because I care about you, not just because it's part of my job) to our work? Yeah, I know these are old-school ideas. Still think they ring true today. As always, your comments are welcome.


Rob Mc said...


We recently were at the same establishment in the Dallas area and have a similar positive experience. Somewhere I've read that the difference between good and great is 10% more effort. Not sure if that's true but enthusiasm is a key ingredient that adds value to just about everything.

justadba said...

Romeo and Juliet to .38 Special? It's hard to keep up with you...:-)

There is a tremendous lack of enthusiasm out there as people are waiting for things to turn around or, at least, stabilize.

But, as you state, a little extra goes a long ways especially now with so many talented folks looking for work. It's the little things like attitude that will make the difference.

Mohan Dutt said...

A great life lesson - personal touch makes all the difference. I feel sometimes we are insensitive to either our customers or vendors and don't care about their feelings and emotions too. I have even stopped being rude to the telemarketers and sometimes try to see their point too.

Bob Rhubart said...

Two things leap to mind:

1) If you can't muster and exhibit enthusiasm for your work, you're in the wrong job.

2) Social Media presents an excellent opportunity to communicate that enthusiasm to a wide audience. That certainly won't do any harm to your reputation and prospects.

Great post, Floyd!