“We know you,” the manager at my favorite hotel said to me.

Earlier that afternoon, after I’d finished a business lunch and my guest had departed, I reached into my bag to find that I’d forgotten my wallet.

Not good.

I spoke to the server, and searched for something to offer – sunglasses?

Twenty minutes, I assured them.  I’ll be right back.

They didn’t bat an eye.

And they refused to accept my offer of collateral.

When I returned, the server was gone but had informed the hotel manager, who came over just as I was proffering my credit card.

Aside from a measure of embarrassment on my part, all was well.

My profusion of apologies was met with his words: We know you.

Implicit in them: These things happen.  We have a relationship.  We trust you.

More than merely putting me at ease, the manager used my error as an opportunity to demonstrate exemplary service from an already stellar hotel and created an even more loyal customer in me.

Drama, in this case, was leveraged.

In a perfect world, there would be no mistakes.  On the part of customers or vendors.

Or teammates.

People wouldn’t forget their wallets.

Deadlines would always be met.

Projects would never have glitches.

But we know that’s a fairytale.

Instead, the question is: Are we creating relationships that are infused with trust and loyalty so that when there is an inevitable bump, however uncommon, it’s handled quickly, with ease, and doesn’t devolve into mistrust or evolve into a permanent rift?


My new book, Magnificent Leadership, is filled with the stories of real leaders who have faced their fair share of challenge and turned it into something much greater.  Go here to Amazon to get your copy.  Marshall Goldsmith calls it, “A great read for all leaders and leaders-to-be.”

If you’re preparing for an elevated leadership role or have just landed in one and need to manage up, build a self-correcting team, claim your own leadership style and presence, and delegate so that you can identify and focus on key strategic initiatives, I work with leaders just like you.  My clients are CEOs and Fortune 1000 senior executives who are successful, talented, ambitious, and aspire to be magnificent.  For more on working with me directly: sarah@sarah-levitt.com  I’ll have openings next month.

For information on booking me to keynote at your annual meeting, national conference, or global leadership summit, you can reach me at sarah@sarah-levitt.com   If your event needs a dynamic speaker who’s described as truly inspirational and highly practical, I’m booking into 2019 now.  My most popular keynote is “Magnificent Leadership® – Keys to Success.”  And I’m just back from Nashville where I delivered another of my most popular keynotes, “Building Self-Correcting™ Teams – the Heart of Innovation” at the Break/Through Conference of the Association of Financial Professionals.

Note: The event of the summer for consultants, coaches, and entrepreneurs: Special Opportunity in Charlotte on May 31!  I’m hosting a regional meeting of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting where Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting, will be conducting the morning session and delivering a preview of his new IP on business and entrepreneurship that he’s presenting at special workshops in London and Adelaide.  He’ll be joined in the afternoon by thought leaders delivering breakout sessions.  Go here for more information and to reserve your spot.