His name is Danny (that’s him in the middle) and he owns “Danny’s Fashion Shoppe, bespoke tailors Hong Kong”. His shop is tiny, tucked into one of the many arcades that line Kowloon’s streets. The shop walls are stacked high with bolts of cloth interrupted three or four times by mirrors.
I used to get my suits made there. Every time I passed through Hong Kong I’d lay over long enough to be fitted for new duds. Danny always did a great job at a fair price. I left there feeling better about my purchase and about myself. Custom made things do that. They mean that someone has listened to you, done what is important to you, and conformed to your individual tastes.
But beyond the obvious benefits to the owner and purchaser of a custom made suit, there are the not-so obvious benefits for the person who creates a custom made product. Now, it is also obvious that I am not taking up your time to write about suits and my experience with a tailor on the other side of the world. A few days ago I wrote about my old Ford pickup and the idiosyncrasies of getting it started and keeping it running. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do (but then, I would recommend my own work, now wouldn’t I? – it can be found here.)
So the subject at hand is tailor-made acts of inspiration and motivation. I’ve already established that one size fits only one and that blanket acts of motivation are highly inefficient and only somewhat effective as a general rule. Like a suit off the rack, which can look pretty good, can be made of quality material, and can be customized somewhat to massage the details and make it fit better, our efforts at motivation can be somewhat effective.
But I like Danny my tailor and here’s why and here are the important things that apply to our job as leaders and managers.
Danny paid attention to me. When we first met he was thorough. He found out what I liked and what did not like. He advised about what worked well on me and what...