The invaluable lesson of a leftover pizza

‘Exposure’ was one of the significant events that rolled into town with the covid circus. The carpet was pulled back to expose things like pre-existing leadership ineptitude, business weaknesses and relationship flaws.

Unhappy employees became unhappier.

Unhappy couples separated.

Unhappy clients cut ties.

The character of political leadership was revealed.

Two areas of exposure that resonated most in corporate workshops I’ve been running over the last year, have been ‘employee engagement’, and ‘client service’ (or more accurately client engagement).

Like our health, we know how important these two things are – we need no convincing. If we were to be honest however, many of us have been guilty of paying some level of lip service to these three things.

Pre-covid, we may have got away with it. Today, no longer.

As we move through and beyond Covid, most organizations that are not sincere about making BOTH their employees and their clients feel genuinely valued, simply won’t cut it. Many have already suffered irreparable damage.

Having a great product, competitive prices and cutting-edge systems are no longer enough for lasting success. The carpet has been pulled back – how you treat people will be being exposed – and it will count.

Back to that arbitrary picture. I joined mates for a beer and pizza at a local restaurant over the weekend. As the waitress was clearing our table, I asked for a doggy bag and casually explained to my mates how much I enjoy a fried egg on left-over pizza for breakfast.

The next morning I opened my doggy bag to find left-over pizza, PLUS an egg the waitress had added. This simple gesture of one uncooked egg, worth maybe 50cents, was enough to earn Old Town Italy in Constantia (Cape Town) my loyalty, and recommendation.

It begs two questions:

  • What metaphorical egg-gesture can you offer your client, and
  • how can you nurture your employees towards being that waitress?


  1. Brian

    Nice post Paddy. Glad the egg didn’t break on the way home.

  2. Aditya Dole

    How lovely a service and what a great post defining the need of the hour

  3. Amit Gadkari

    Lovely one Paddy…..

  4. Trevor

    Great story Paddy and so true.
    Not sure if u have see the Simon Sinek post about the same topic
    Working hard for what u don’t care about is stress
    Working hard for what u care about is passion
    But employees and customers alike need to feel valued and cared for in the process

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