Thursday, February 07, 2008

One Person Makes the Difference

People ask us why we always go to the same place in Costa Rica every year.

Bradd Johnson is a big reason.

Bradd is the owner of Aguila de Osa, an American from Rhode Island, who has been committed to this lodge and this small community for over a decade. He is the largest employer in the community. Now you have to realize that he only has 13 rooms, so we're not talking about a high-rise. (Thank goodness for that!)

He is a fair man and gives people a chance to prove themselves before they even know they can do something. He is a mentor to many. He will be the first to admit that he makes mistakes and so when others do, he just wants them to learn and grow.

Bradd knows the names of all his guests even though they usually only stay three maybe four days. (Bradd does have a bumper sticker saying that he has CRS - Can't remember shit.) We are the exception, staying in one place as long as we do. He takes the time to find out about each guest and see the interesting ways each one has.

Just put yourself in his place. You run the joint worrying about cash flow and making sure that you can set aside a little cushion for the unexpected. You develop talent to manage the place and support their continued professional growth. And then with some you have to let them fly away, because it is time for them to go it alone. You have to make the day-long run (really a crawl) into San Jose several times a month to bring supplies needed to keep the place going.

You do all this and then at night you have to be the charming host during cocktail hour and dinner. Bradd is the ultimate networker, because his conversations are always centered on that guest.

Could you do that with a smile 365 days a year?

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