October 04, 2006

King For A Day (Or Two)

Travelled by train to Mayo and to a client of mine, the Westport Woods Hotel, where I was treated like a king rather than the hired hand and reminded how blessed I am to work for the likes of my host this evening, Michael Lennon. Despite the late hour, Michael travelled in from his home to shake my hand and make me welcome. He had better things to do, I’m sure, but he made the journey all the same.

Michael’s in good company. Other clients of mine, Sean Buckley at the Arbutus Hotel in Killarney, Martin McCaffrey at the Hole In The Wall Pub and Conor O’Kane at the Quality Hotel, the last two both in Dublin, are men who share the same natural generosity of spirit as hosts. It goes beyond what can be prescribed by a brand consultant like me as something that might offer an edge, some commercial advantage. It comes from a different place.

As someone on the receiving end, I can tell you it feels different. Sean greets me at the airfield and bids me welcome to the Kingdom, Martin offers me a bottle of wine to take home and “tell me what you and Christine make of it”, while Conor stops by my table to share an observation and, as I discover only when I go to pay my tab, treat me to lunch.

For this hired hand, it doesn’t get much better than that. This stuff can’t be taught but it’s something that many another business might do well to learn.

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