As a Clarkson School of Business faculty member lucky enough to be able to reflect on 20 years in the classroom I had a pretty important moment today.
An invited guest in an upper level Innovation class (and ironically an important supplier to Jake’s) was asked by a student to identify the exact moment that he felt success. Quite a question. My guest had a rather quick, obviously genuine response. He told us that it was the moment he realized he had discovered what he was supposed to be doing. He described the discovery as “lubricating” and a “tailwind” that he relied on as he pursued a life driven by the pursuit of the discovery, a passion driven life.
I found myself inspired. I pondered the question and his thoughtful response throughout the day, wondering, had I found success? If I had, what was the EXACT moment. I decided that in fact, yes – success has arrived. And it arrived rather recently.
I had a brief, but important conversation with a kitchen employee this week, he shared that his South African accent often leads to questions from those that meet him for the first time. Quickly the question of employment always arrived and the response is that he works at Jake’s. He shared with me that universally the exchange goes to an overwhelming sense of pride when the discovery is exchanged. The pride he feels is a gift we give. The connection from stranger to employee is an unseen, unmeasured, unspoken gift. The gift of pride comes with hard work, building and protecting a brand, sacrificing and committing – being proud and ashamed. We, together, have built something special and the word “together” has truth and meaning for us.
We love owning Jake’s. We love our incredible people. We love their talent, their humility, their struggles and compassion for each other. Yes, for sure we have found success. Our success is in the connection to people, to lives, to pride, to meaning that a little yellow ball of fur inspired.
Good Things Happen at Jake’s.