Of course it’s personal. It’s business.
We have all heard the expression. “It’s not personal - it’s business.” It’s an interesting expression and one that can be thrown around without much thought. When you get down to it though, being in business is being in direct contact with people. Think about it this way: we have staff, we have customers and we have consumers. Without these people groups, we don’t have a business.
People. They are our biggest asset - our greatest strength. When business is approached as a financial transaction rather than a personal one, we can miss something amazing. We miss life and community. For me, the best part of business is becoming part of someone's world and allowing them to become part of ours.
If we can not only make people feel as though they matter, but show them that they actually do, then we've achieved something great.
When I was first getting into the coffee scene at 20 years old, Ben and I would go to the same place in Terrigal, every Saturday. We'd sit at the table, and even though it was an “order at the counter” situation, the barista, Adam, would bring out our usual coffees before we’d had the chance to read the menu.
Let me tell you that it made me feel really special and it kept us going back every single week! If we can not only make people feel as though they matter, but show them that they actually do, then we've achieved something great.
Being part of making someone’s day better is one of the amazing things that we get to do in hospitality. The service industry is exactly that - it’s service. But not just of coffee and food as you might think. It’s the service of people.
Our Glee team is filled with unique and varied personalities. One of our core values as a company is ‘people’, and for us, it starts with our team. We tend not to use the term ‘staff’ when referring to the Glee team. We are indeed just that - a team. They don’t work for us, they work with us.
When I look around at the people who we get to do this life with as a company, I feel excited and humbled all at the same time. They are all unique. We have some strategic thinkers, and some bubbly personalities. We have a few wise old souls, a firecracker or two and some born diplomats. Part of the thing I appreciate about leading people is getting to know who they are and figuring out how to place them in a role they will thrive in. One of my favourite quotes is this jewel of wisdom by Albert Einstein;
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its life thinking it’s a failure.”
Finding the right fit for a person in a team results in them having a sense of purpose and satisfaction in what they do. That is a great win - for the individual, for the team, and for the company they represent.
“Coffee + People”. This is what makes us tick and drives us every day. It’s trying our best to care for both of these things well. It's the beauty of life in community, drinking the best beverage on the planet.
For me, that’s what it’s all about.