Heather Hansen

The $100 Lesson

When I was a salad girl at The Chart Room, I learned the $100 Lesson from a waitress named Andrea. She was fun, kind and cool, and her customers loved her. She anticipated their every need. One day, while I was in the kitchen cleaning lobsters, a newer waitress came running into the kitchen squealing with delight. She’d just received her first $100 tip. Her delight was obvious as she danced around the kitchen, showing the $100 bill to the line cooks, the dishwashers and the salad girls. Andrea soon came into the kitchen and quietly pulled the waitress aside, right by where I was buried in lobster guts.

“It’s great that you got that tip, and you should be excited. But be aware of the people around you. The people in this kitchen won’t make that kind of money tonight. They may never have the opportunity to get a tip like that. So think about how you’d feel in that situation, and act accordingly. Consider the people who support you.”

I’ll never forget that lesson. A good lawyer thinks about the perspectives of her jury, her judge and her opponents. But she should also be thinking about her team. And a good salesperson, teacher, doctor, or consultant should be thinking about the perspective of those they serve–and the team that allows them to do so. 

When you care about how your team thinks and feels, they care about you. Together, you can best serve your clients and your customers. And then you all win. Remember Andrea and that $100 lesson. Consider your teammates’ perspectives, and the team will be better. Then you can go out and share the rewards that follow.

And one way to show your team you care is to share these lessons! You can find many of them in my book, The Elegant Warrior: How to Win Life’s Trials Without Losing Yourself. Buy it here. 

Heather Hansen

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