Organizational transformation

An Awesome Tip

Sam Frentzel-Beyme Follow Managing Partner & Strategy Director

The Short of It

  • Deliver the unexpected.
  • Delight with kindness.
  • Connect with people in a way that makes it about them.

Would you leave a $500 tip for a pizza? Aaron would. And while I don’t know Aaron, I’m glad that NPR took a minute to tell me about him the other day.

Aaron passed away on July 7, 2012 three weeks after his 30th birthday. The typical reaction to such an early demise is that he died too young. I’d agree. But if his spirit is any indication, what his chronological age lacked he more than made up for in his wisdom about the human spirit. The third request in his will was the following:

“Third, leave an awesome tip (and I don’t mean 25%. I mean $500 on a f***ing pizza) for a waiter or waitress.”

“Aaron was a person who took great joy in unexpected guidance,” said his brother. In a time when Ayn Rand’s “selfishness” seems to be gently nudging all ideas of altruism out the back door, Aaron’s story is a timeless reminder that stripped away of anything we can buy, we are left only with who we are and how we share our little Spaceship Earth with the person next to us. So far, Aaron's blog, put together by his family, has raised over $55,000 to do just that.

As you go about what you do in your company or organization, I would challenge you to pull a little “Aaron” in whatever you’re doing. Deliver the unexpected. Delight with kindness. And connect with people in a way that makes it all about them regardless of how you feel when you're doing it.

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