Susan and I and four close friends just returned from a week-long tramp among rainforests, cloudforests, etc., in amazing Costa Rica. Birds! Plants! Animals! (Even I can out-race a three-toed sloth.) Our guide! The families who made lunches for us and invited us into their homes! Market day in San Jose! Rice and beans! Beans and rice! All fabulous!

And years from now I'll mostly remember ... Priscilla!

Priscilla was our driver.
Priscilla was our Mom!
Priscilla was a brilliant driver on truly awful roads in CR's booniest of boondocks.
Priscilla ranks in the Top 10 in the "God's best smile" category.
Priscilla figured out after half a day that a Diet Coke and I should not ever be far apart.
(There was ALWAYS a Diet Coke waiting for me.)
I had trouble on several occasions.
(It was VERY hot and VERY VERY humid.)
(I hate heat.)
(I really hate humidity.)
Priscilla always had a folding chair placed in the shade exactly when I needed it when I got back from the trail.
(Such chairs appeared mystically at exactly the right moment.)
I sweat like a demon; when I changed T-shirts (often) she always hung the wet one up—and once she even somehow found a dryer while we were out on a couple hour walk, and the last shirt was dried and ready when I'd soaked through my backup.
(That's insane.)
(That's true.)
(That's Priscilla.)
Priscilla has the cutest Grandkids you could imagine.
(We saw the pics, not the kids. Alas.)
Priscilla did the same for all six of us.
Priscilla has the best attitude of the 6,000,000,000+ people on earth.
(And that's a guarantee.)
(And Priscilla has been doing this for 20 years without letup.)
(And some groups are good.)
(And some groups are bad.)
(And some groups are very bad.)
(I hope we were pretty good, though I have no way of knowing.)

Does your organization have a Priscilla?
Several Priscillas?
Do you look for "Priscilla-ism" in virtually all employees, especially those with customer contact?
Do you understand that the "bottom" of the organization is really the "top" of the organization when it comes to details of execution and perception of "We-care-ism"?

(Our guide, Jimmy, was only a hair's breadth behind Priscilla. Priscilla and Jimmy were more important to the "Costa Rica trip" than Costa Rica was!)

(Read an interview yesterday in the New York Times with Kip Tindell, the CEO of the Container Store. He gets this Big Time. That's why a boring retailer was the #1 "best company to work for," per Fortune, a couple of years ago.)

Tom Peters posted this on March 22, 2010, in Excellence.
Bookmark and Share