267 - Hawaii Leadership Lesson #2 - John Laurito

267 – Hawaii Leadership Lesson #2

For those who have been listening to this podcast, you’d probably know by now that wherever host John Laurito goes, he will certainly bring nuggets of wisdom back to his episodes. In today’s episode, John drops another lesson from his recent vacation in Maui. He talks about one of the biggest challenges for leaders: thinking outside the box.

[0:00] Intro

[0:49] Storytime!

[5:18] Thinking differently

[6:37] The challenge for leaders

[9:11] Outro

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John (Intro): Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader. 

John: All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others. I am John Laurito, your host, good to see you again. Good to be talking to you again, good to share this evening with you again. And again, I’m filming tonight at somewhere around 12:30 at night. This is my thing now. I do this now every so often. 

John: Okay, we’re going to continue on the theme. I’m going to tell you some stories. I’m going to give you some examples of stuff that just happens in day-to-day life. And what is the leadership lesson in this? Now, these stories come to you from Maui. I still have a few left to go, a couple of leadership lessons I want to share, and a couple of other things. This happens to be something I saw a business do that I thought was excellent. And I’m going to give you a couple of different examples because there are a few different businesses that I thought really just hit the mark and did really, really well, unique things that really set them apart. 

John: So the first thing I want to share with you, so for those of you who know Maui, there’s a little town called Lahaina on the west coast of Maui and Lahaina. And it’s just really awesome ground from the water. I mean, just beautiful, great little shops, restaurants, all this kind of stuff. And it’s interesting because at night there’s a lot going on there. It’s actually pretty, you know, pretty lively. There’s a lot of live music and everything like that. And when I think of live music, I think of like, okay, if I want to go see live music, I would think about, okay, sometimes in happy hours, sometimes during dinner, sometimes late night at some places. And sure enough, at most of these places, literally most of the places had live music going on. 

John: Which I always think is if you can do it as a business owner, as a restaurant or bar, do it. Even other businesses, because that draws people in. If you can get the right person that plays, I mean, wow, just adds the right ambiance and environment and everything and usually is the moneymaker for you. But what I don’t think about is going to see live music at 7:38 in the morning. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of live music during breakfast, but there’s this one place there called “Down the Hatch” that’s in this, it’s an open-air restaurant, so it’s in the middle of this huge outdoor kind of two levels, you know, not a mall, but just the all the shopping area. And it’s right in the center. There is this restaurant called “Down the Hatch” and it opens I think it’s 7:30 in the morning. And there is a line and it seems like, okay, I’m vacationing, I get up at 7:30 in the morning.

John: Well, I’m getting up at 3:30 in the morning because I’m on East Coast time. It’s 6 hours behind and you just don’t adapt. So, you know, at 7:30 in the morning, you’re starving. You’re waiting in line for those restaurants to open. So this restaurant opens up at 7:30 and we went there, I think two or three times. And they have the best live music. I mean, like the two or three times we were there, they had at least, I remember, of those times, two of the best performers I had seen in a long time. One was like kind of a blues guy who was phenomenal, like high energy, I mean, in the morning. And you would think, okay, you don’t really want that more. 

John: It was awesome. It wasn’t like in your face. He was fantastic. There was another guy strumming a guitar, great boys, great tunes, great, you know, funny guy. I mean, it was just like awesome. And I found that we were looking forward. I think we went there at least three times. We’re looking forward to going back there again. I would probably have gone there four or five or six times, and it was just because of the uniqueness. The food was great. They had, you know, it was outdoors. So it was really nice, really in the morning, perfect temperature. You get your, you know, Bloody Mary or we call it a screwdriver or whatever. We had this tropical drink, whatever was fine. It was great, great coffee. Awesome. And then you’ve got this live music. So I’m thinking there and this guy is racking up tips. I mean, people are throwing money at them. The restaurant probably pays them. I really don’t know. 

John: So if you’re a restauranteur and you want to text me or email me, let me know. I’d be interested to know what you pay a live singer. But for breakfast, I don’t know. You played for 2 hours. I’m going to say maybe 200 bucks. I mean, I don’t know, maybe that’s way off. So it 

wasn’t a huge expense. Maybe it was more, but I don’t think it was a huge expense. The bottom line is this place was rockin, it was packed, and there was a line from the moment that we got there, which is probably 7:00, and we were early in the line, but the line was huge by the time they opened up and there was a steady line through the whole morning at 8:00, at 9:00, at 10:00, at 10:30. There was still a line of people coming in. It was crazy. So was that a worthwhile investment? Of course. Was that the reason anybody was there? You know, probably not the only reason, but it was a contributor. 

John: So I think about, you know, how many restaurants are thinking about how they can be so unique and different. I think, again, that’s just one of these examples of things. And I think a lot of restaurants are breakfast places would think of having live music. I don’t know. Again, I’ve been alive for 51 years. I’ve never seen one other than this. That was the first time I saw it and it was a great idea. And they do it every single day during the week and on the 

weekends, every single day. That’s their business model now, and it’s obviously a really, really profitable one. And people know they can go there and they probably come from far away to go enjoy live music while they’re eating great food outdoors. Awesome. So congrats to “Down the Hatch” for all your success for bringing a great experience to Nick, Skye, and myself, and for helping us enjoy an even more great vacation. And kudos to you for just thinking outside the box. Obviously, it’s paying off. 

John: So, that’s what leadership is all about. Thinking differently, breaking the mold, doing things differently. That’s not crazy. I’m not talking about anything totally off the wall, but it’s different, right? It’s just thinking different. So I challenge you as a leader. Think about your 

business in a way. What’s one thing you can do that none of your other competitors are doing? Honestly think about that for a minute. What’s one thing you can do? I don’t care if

you’re in technology. If you’re in financial services, if you’re in health care, if you’re in entertainment, if you’re in academics, if you’re in athletics, whatever. What’s one thing that you can do that your competitors, none of your competitors do and try it? If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But if it does work, it could work in a really, really big way. 

John: So think about that. Start with the things that nobody else is doing. If you’re leading a team, a sports team. What’s one thing in practice? You know, you probably build your practice around things you’ve seen, drills that you’ve seen. Everybody does want to do something totally different. Reinvent what a practice looks like. Maybe just try it. Just see. See how works. You know, just change it up. We just had a captain of our kickball team. “Yeah, kickball. I’m the captain. That’s right!”. Yeah, for real. We play kickball, it’s a blast. Honestly, if you’re not on an adult kickball league, I highly recommend it. 

John: So, you know, listen, we were losing we had a losing streak going on, and I’m like, all right, we got to just totally switch this around. Like, totally. Let’s just go with an entirely different lineup and entirely different formula. Mix people around, play differently, and have different positions. Let’s literally scrap our game plan, start over, and do something totally different. And you know what? It worked. We won. I mean, sometimes you just have to just redesign the whole game plan, and do something totally different that you haven’t done before. 

John: This restaurant, again, doing something small, it’s not that complicated, but it was different enough. It attracted attention that other competitors were not. And now they’re making a gazillion bucks. I don’t know how much they’re making, but probably somewhere close to a gazillion, maybe whatever, thousand, whatever. They’re making a lot of money. 

John: All right. Take that. Do something with it. Let me know what you’re doing with it. Okay? My job is to give you ideas, and thoughts. Get the wheels turning. Your job is to do something with it. As always, appreciate your listening. Like, subscribe, and share this. Give me ideas and future guests and content and go down below, give a five-star review and we’ll see you next time. 

John (Closing): Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at john@lauritogroup.com Once again, that’s john@lauritogroup.com. Thanks! Lead on!

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