Genuine and consistent gestures can make a significant impact on people’s lives.
I wanted to share a story with you about a barista named Conner.
For the past few years, I have enjoyed seeing Conner at my local Starbucks once or twice each week. Rain or shine, good day or bad, Conner always greeted me with a warm and friendly “Good morning, Patrick.” Although the exchanges were brief, he proved a bright spot in my mornings.
Last week, I walked into the coffee shop to find Connor wearing a little party hat. When I asked what was happening, he explained that it was his last day. After ten years at Starbucks, he was going on a sabbatical. The flash of disappointment that swept through me about no longer seeing him in the morning quickly turned to joy for him and the journey he was about to undertake. He shared that he had planned a grand road trip to visit family and friends.
I will miss Conner’s trademark warm smile and kind greeting that became part of my routine. His gestures were simple, but they mattered to me and countless others who walked through that door each morning.
That’s the lesson I take away from my interactions with Conner. Be genuine. Be consistent. See and value people.
Later that morning, I grabbed Conner a small gift and a card. I swung back by Starbucks to give him the present, and we snapped the picture accompanying this post. The small gesture was the least I could do for the many caffeinated beverages he served me and the lesson he taught me over the years.
See and value people.
- Do you take the time to engage with people in your daily routines?
- What small acts of kindness have you received recently? How did they impact you?
- What are some simple things you can do to make someone’s day?
Choose one person you encounter and greet them with a warm smile and kind words, and notice how it transforms the interactions.
Make it a great day!
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.