In Season 1 Episode 4 of Hotel Hell, starring world-renowned chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay, a self-interested building owner is in dire straights. His “luxury” hotel is a nightmare of tacky design, under resourced staff, and awful food.
Gordon asks a group of staff and the owner a simple question, “who is the most important person in this hotel?” Sheepishly, they all admit that the owner, Eddy, is regarded as the top dog. His opinion counts and what he says goes. So much so that the hotel’s restaurant had over 130 items on the menu, as inspirations from the brilliant Eddy and his friends, typically things they’d eaten elsewhere.
Gordon, flabbergasted, boldly pronounces, “The most important person in the hotel is the guest!”
Now, who didn’t see that coming from a mile away?
But he didn’t go far enough.
The point is that as business owners, it can be terribly tempting to thing about ourselves first. We get so caught up in our needs, wants, and dreams, that we become selfish. We become prima donnas. We forget that we’re there to serve our customers.
But even more, if we’re in the service business, as I am, we’re there for even more. We’re there to serve our customers’ customers. What needs, wants, and desires do they have? What jolts them awake at night in a flash of terror? What elegant solutions do they yearn for, in vain hope that their lives will become just a little bit easier?
The most important person in your business might be your customer. And it might even be your customer’s customer. But in the end, the most important entity in your business is that dream. The dream the person on the far end of your supply chain is hoping to realize. That dream needs you and me.
Don’t let it down.