I just got back from a quick trip to NYC the other day where I’m coaching in a large financial institution. The company that I’m working with has been able to create a warm and family atmosphere even though they’re in a cut throat sort of industry. These people were all incredibly likeable people and I enjoyed seeing a company be able to create this sort of atmosphere in the middle of the hustle bustle of the city.
Each time in NY, I’m inspired to meet the quality of people that I do. It’s nothing like what most people think when they think of New Yorkers. They see them as too rushed, impolite or not friendly. Nothing could be further from the truth. The absolute truth is, is that the more successful people are in organizations, the nicer they are when you get to know them. But, to get in the door, it’s not so easy. They’re tough and they require the people they associate with to have the highest of standards. If you’re able to prove that you have the same set of standards, they let their guard down and welcome you into a working relationship. That relationship is personal and direct, open and real. It happens more quickly than many other working relationships. New Yorkers are great at seeing past the glossy exterior and peering into the real substance of a person or a company. The bottom line is, that if you have the goods to deliver and you have the highest standards and ethics in your business, then New York is a great place to work.
Being in NY is always full of surprises. I was eating lunch at the restaurant, Cosi’s and saw that famous “Cat woman” who has had too much plastic surgery on her face. I was so excited to see her I asked the two gals 2 seated 2 inches from my table if they knew who the Cat Woman was and they got as excited to hear about her as I got because of seeing her!
My hotel, which is like finding a gold mine, is the best serviced, most convenient and most comfortable and affordable hotel I’ve stayed at in the past 3 years in any city around the country. It’s the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel. It’s a block from Grand Central on 44th. It’s owned by an Irish family, has 24/7 room service and they will take care of whatever need you have. Last December, I needed to purchase a copy of the new Pirates of the Caribbean for my TV segment and one of the bell men went to the store and bought it for me with his own money! I was floored at the impeccable service. Nino or Susan are both managers and are both terrific. Tell them that Mary Gardner sent you!
Because New Yorkers and those in the big cities start trends, and now I don’t live in NY, I can share a few insights into people and the up and coming work place. It appears to me, that larger companies, have been and will continue to spend money on training their employees to insure a positive work environment. The more successful a company is, it seems that the nicer and more professional the people are. I just met a top level guy from Google and You Tube, and he was one of the sharpest individuals I had met in a long time. Not only was he incredibly intelligent, but extremely, well, nice is the word! He was patient and kind and helpful. No wonder the company is doing so well!!
I believe that companies are going to need to invest more and more money into training their staff. It’s not just the lower and middle level professionals who are coming across as not overly polished or polite any more, it’s even upper level executives. Our culture is all about rushing and getting things done quickly. But many are losing their manners in the meantime. But.. that’s another whole story!
I’ll be headed back to NY in the morning, to meet up with business associates and possibly some friends. I’ll get to stay at the Fitzpatrick again and enjoy their lovely people.
Hopefully this week, the snow will be melted and people will be hanging in Central Park. That might be a few weeks away, but definitely a reason to visit New York in the spring. New Yorkers in the spring are in rare form: skating and running in Central Park, picnicking on the lawn, flea markets every weekend, sidewalk café dining, and late night concerts followed by late night coffee shops and wine bars. It's a great time to visit and a terrific time to create bonds with the people of NYC.
Ahhhh… New York. There is no where like it. And all you have to do is to love it, to be open to it, and you’ll find the people among the nicest and most open in the world.