Reminder Outside Rockefeller Center

Service is black & white….hospitality is color. Getting the right dish to the right person (delivering the curriculum) is providing the service. When a connection is made, when a person feels heard and seen, then you are sharing hospitality. Add color and life and movement to the interaction & that’s what will be remembered.

In this episode of the A Bit of Optimism Podcast with Simon Sinek, his guest, Will Guidara, shares the story of a group of foodies that visited his 5 STAR restaurant in NYC. They gushed over all the wonderful meals they had enjoyed at the best restaurants in the city (and in the world). One of them then remarked that the only thing they had not had in NYC was a “dirty water” hot dog. Specifically, for anyone that has not enjoyed this delicacy, a “dirty water” hot dog is bought from a vendor on a street corner in Manhattan. So Will overheard this comment, rushed out to the corner vendor, and purchased a hot dog. He then had it served in an elegant fashion, and the table of foodies was amazed. Their experience escalated to unforgettable and they now had a story to tell friends for years.

The big takeaway for me from the episode was that when unreasonable hospitality is experienced, either personally or as a witness, the release of oxytocin and other “feel good” chemicals is the same for both the recipient AND those that witness it. In essence, it is the brain teaching us that being kind to others, whether hearing a story of kindness or witnessing generosity, makes us feel better. I mean, think about the TikTok videos or reels that touch your heart – and we are merely a witness to them. Small moments can inspire big notions to perform something similar for another.

It makes no difference whether we are in the restaurant business or the education profession, we always have the chance to add color to someone’s life. Often we merely need to slow down, listen, and then leap. And while our attempt/success rate may not be as high as we wish, there is never a shortage of opportunity. Strive to be deliberate. Moments matter.

I’ve Moved!

There comes a time in life when a new adventure unfolds and the choice as to whether or not to plunge is in front of you. That moment came for me a few weeks ago, and I have chosen to accept the full-service retirement that the state of Texas offers public school educators. I am not certain yet exactly what may come around the corner yet I’m proud of the 30 years I served in public education.

My entry into Twitter and the incredible learning that has occurred there began upon my appointment as the Principal of Bellaire High School. My Twitter Handle for the last nearly ten years has been @m_squaredBHS and my identity with the school has been synonymous with the professional learning I have experienced. However, I am no longer leading that campus and so it feels appropriate to move on to a new handle that is more indicative of the learning I want to continue in the education space. Thus I have made the shift to my new Twitter Handle @mcdonoughEDU.

I’m excited to embark on this new adventure while remaining solidly within the Education Setting. I plan to begin more regular posting this month and look forward to continuing to explore leadership alongside you.