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    Wednesday Wisdom: Excellence Wins

    Wednesday Wisdom from Cape House, Home and Hospitality Boutique on Amelia Island, Florida

    I’ll never forget my introduction to Horst Schulze. It was August of 2015 and he was one of the presenters at the Global Leadership Summit, a two-day conference with world class faculty providing fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content to more than 250,000 attendees. No, I wasn’t technically at the conference and no, I didn’t technically meet Horst, but my exposure to his content created an appetite for more. 

    It was apparent, from the moment he began his presentation about customer service, he delivered with genuine care. He expressed the importance of his role within the organization (President and COO typically carries some weight) while reiterating the importance, and significance, of every person in the organization. In the end, we are all people simply serving each other in some capacity. We can choose to serve with an attitude to create trust and loyalty or choose to serve with indifference. 

    I recently had a chance to catch up with my good friend, Mr. Shulze, as he released a new book, Excellence Wins. By spending time, I mean I listened to the book on Audible while recovering from a spine fusion (another story for another day). We revisited some of the similar concepts from his presentation a few years ago, but it was refreshing to see the significance of caring again in a fresh way.  

    The most significant takeaway for me was not in the details of creating an award-winning organization, but the hope Horst expressed in the midst of a struggle during the peak of his career. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can turn to Chapter 20 to hear the rest of the story. Mr. Shulze reflects on his battle and how his faith was strengthened during that difficult season. 

    He persevered in the face of adversity and continued his inspiring pursuit. If you haven’t paused to Google Horst Schulze yet, he is famous for revolutionizing the hotel industry, creating one of the most recognizable brands in the world in the process, The Ritz-Carlton, and elevating the culture of customer service by introducing “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” 

    I can’t think of a better time to reflect on excellence winning with Easter this Sunday. We celebrate The One who demonstrated the greatest love through his servant leadership and a willingness to be mocked, exposed, beaten beyond recognition, and crucified on a cross - for us. In three days, Jesus rose from the grave, and his excellence continues to provide hope 2,000+ years later. 

    At it’s core, customer service is delivered when we genuinely care about people. Between Horst and JC, I realize it’s time for me to step up my caring game and I hope you do too. 

    Lance Jones, owner at Cape House, Home and Hospitality Boutique on Amelia Island, Florida

    Listen to Horst’s 2015 speech.

    Horst Schulze is a charismatic leader and entrepreneur with an intimate understanding of market demands, he created a legion of loyal customers by raising the bar for customer service expectations to previously unimagined levels. Schulze provides audiences with successful service-oriented strategies to build and maintain lasting customer relationships that keep them coming back for more. A man of rare ability and prophetic vision, Schulze himself was named “Corporate Hotelier of the World” by HOTELS magazine and was awarded the Ishikawa Medal for his contributions to the quality movement. Currently chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group, Schulze is launching the newest standard in luxury hotels creating an unmatched tier of customer service.

    Wednesday Wisdom: Influence + Light

    WCape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FLW_FB_07.18.18-01 It’s back to school time, which for me, means it’s a crazy time! I was asked to lead our staff meeting this week, sharing a little about my leadership style. I had a hard time defining it. When I asked Tom, my right-hand man at work, he joked that it closely resembles a dictatorship. (Of course, he was joking right?!) But what did come across my email at just the right time was an article that was right on point. Whether you are in corporate leadership, church leadership, or you lead in your home, we all have influence. I hope this encourages you as much as it did me:

    Hey Lauren, When God gives you influence as leader, one of the toughest challenges is to keep the light inside of you brighter than the light that’s on you. Our human nature is to let influence get to our heads so much that we forget who we are - who God created us to be. Before we know what’s happening, we can lose sight of our destiny and find ourselves off track. The good news is, by following Biblical principles and God’s work in our own lives, there is a lot we can do to keep ourselves in-check and on course as leaders. Here are three habits that can help you keep the light inside burning bright. Practice Humility. I say “practice," because I don’t think any of us ever fully achieve Christ-like humility in our lifetime. But being aware of our pride and choosing to practice humility instead is key to not being blinded by the spotlight of influence. Find an Honest Friend. There are few things that humble me quicker than an honest word from a loving friend. True friends love you so much that they don’t hold back on speaking the truth with kindness. Find a friend like this and invite them to hold you accountable even as your influence grows. Stay Focused on Jesus. Where we put our focus matters. The temptation when we are given influence is to put too much focus on ourselves - on our success, our networks, our hard work. But Scripture reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 to do whatever we do, everything that we do, to the glory of God. Keeping Him at the center of everything will keep the light shining in and through us burning bright. Will you accept the challenge the cultivate a light that shines brightly through you, no matter how much God expands your influence? Love you Christine 💛
    Learn more about Propel Women, the source of this article, here. And, sign up for their weekly newsletter here - scroll down to the bottom of the page. (Seriously, it's the highlight of my inbox!)  Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL

    Wednesday Wisdom: "I Can't", Jesus Can

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL This Wednesday, I get to unpack something that’s weighed heavy on my heart for the past couple of weeks. It’s not something I’m proud of. In fact, I am personally disappointed in myself when I think back to the “incident”. I tried to justify my thoughts and actions. I compared how I responded to what someone else might have done. In full transparency, I lost sleep over it. I let it get the best of me in the worst way. That little voice inside my head became louder, clearer, and more prominent. When I tried to minimize it, the feelings only compounded… If you’ve spent any time with me, you know I love people. It’s exhilarating for me to walk into a room full of strangers. I love to hear their story, what they enjoy, their favorite restaurants, and most importantly, if they want a hug. I know, I know, not everyone appreciates a hug like me, but let’s face it, I’m a hugger. It was close to 7:15pm. The store was closed, and I was still working on a few projects. As I walked to the kitchen area in the front, I saw a few people approaching on their way to dinner at Lagniappe. Brace yourself for this…I immediately sat down behind the kitchen counter, so they wouldn’t notice me. When I sat down, it wasn’t in a chair, it was on the floor. I waited a couple of minutes and then peeked over the counter to check on my status. They were gone. Good. Now I can get back to work. It may not seem like that big of a deal. It was after hours (we close at 6:00pm). I wasn’t obligated, per se, to greet them at the front door and invite them in, but that’s what I do. That’s who I am! Frequently I’ve opened early or stayed late to accommodate people. But that night, four clever words I read on a dish towel resonated in my mind, “I can’t people today.” We all know that feeling when we’ve had enough. It’s extremely rare for me but this was one of those days. I realized as I started to unpack the guilt that it was less about me and more about the people I missed. What if it was their first time to the store? What if I could have helped make their evening more memorable? What if they needed a hug? When I allowed the chatter in my head to quiet down something hit me. When “I can’t”, Jesus can. When “I can’t people today”, Jesus can. He has the capacity, even when I don’t. Yes, there are healthy boundaries we have to establish. If we are accessible to everyone all the time, we won’t be available for the ones when they need us the most. It’s a balance, or rhythm we have to find. Different seasons create different rhythms and we have to decipher how it affects us and those around us. In Luke 9, Jesus sent out his disciples with all the power and authority. When they returned, they began telling Jesus about all they had done. Despite an attempt to get away and spend some time with his boys, a crowd began to form. Jesus welcomed the crowd, spoke about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. After that, he proceeded to feed 5,000+ with only five loaves of bread and two fish. He made time. And in the end, the Bible says, “they all ate and were satisfied.” You might not be able to recreate feeding 5,000+ with a little bread and fish, but your time might be the satisfaction that someone else needs. You can. I can. “We can people today!” Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL

    Wednesday Wisdom: Walk Wise. Eat Cheese.

    Wednesday Wisdom: Walk Wise. Eat Cheese.

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Any day that includes a cheese board is a good day. When it’s National Wine & Cheese Day, well, giddy up! I was excited for an excuse to put together some cheeses, and more enthusiastic about sampling them. In the end, the perfect pairing was less about the wine and cheese and more about the people I was able to enjoy it with. My Monday started in typical fashion with a long list to get done, but it ended with a photo shoot featuring a cheese board to post for National Wine & Cheese Day (July 25th). I welcomed the interruption from the “busyness” and styled with a variety of cheeses, charcuterie, fruit, artichoke lemon pesto, olives, bread, and pastry tarts with key lime and Meyer lemon filling. By the time I made it to the Hinton’s though, the board looked a little less appetizing. There were a few missing pieces (due to quality control), and I may have taken a couple turns faster than I should have. After I set the board on the counter, we quickly realized there wasn’t going to be enough food for six adults and two children for dinner. So, we did what anyone would do at 6:45pm on a Monday when Moon River isn’t open - we ordered Townie’s. While we waited, we snacked, opened a bottle of Pacheca sparkling Pinot Noir from Portugal, took some more candid photos for the blog post, a few boomerangs for Instagram, and had a few laughs. When the pizza arrived, everyone shifted their attention. No plates, no silverware, just open boxes of cheesy goodness topped with meat. When we finished eating, we sat around the table, talking and laughing some more in between the ever-so entertaining performances by Hannah Grace and Addi Grace. At the end of a long Monday, this was exactly what I needed! Let’s face it, life is busy. We can get caught up in the things that grab our attention in the moment, or we can be intentional about focusing our attention on the moments that matter. This was a good reminder why we have invested so much time and effort into Cape House. We are inspired by moments that capture our senses and compel us to savor our surroundings. We’re passionate about creating environments that bring people together, inviting them in to make life’s moments memorable. The “surrounding” was simply a dining room table with a stack of pizza boxes. Nothing fancy, but it was an opportunity to invite people in and share a moment together. I remember growing up, my parents reiterated (frequently), “your friends will shape your future.” You may have heard, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Or, you might be familiar with renowned businessman, Jim Rohn’s quote, “you’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Regardless, people are important and the people you surround yourself with matters. Too often as things get busy, I get caught up in the tendency to work harder and grind longer. I allow myself to focus on what’s urgent rather than what’s most important. In the end, there is nothing more important than the people in our lives and the relationships we have. Today, in my opinion, is THE perfect day to find a friend, some cheese, and cheers to National Wine & Cheese Day.

    “Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” Proverbs 13:20 (MSG)
    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL WINE & CHEESE DAY National Wine and Cheese Day encourages us to try wines and cheese in combinations we’ve never tried before; we can step away from the ordinary and learn something new. Sampling the complexities in sweetness and acidity and comparing them makes for an enjoyable experience. When we add friends to the adventure, National Wine and Cheese Day becomes a celebration, too!

    Wednesday Wisdom: Marshmallow Fight

    Wednesday Wisdom: Marshmallow Fight

    Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL Last week, while attending STEM Camp, Hannah Grace and Addi Grace found themselves in a little bit of trouble. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting these two, Hannah Grace is our almost-7-going-on-17 year old daughter and Addi is Lance & Lauren’s 4 year old. They are both only children, but with the amount of time the Hintons and Jones spend together, they act a little more like sisters. One day at camp, the girls partnered up to build a marshmallow tower. It’s hard to get the full picture of what went down, but putting the pieces of the puzzle together, we know this: The goal was to build a tower out of marshmallows. Addi wanted to eat the marshmallows (who wouldn’t?) Hannah Grace (in typical type A manner) wanted to build the best and tallest tower. You can imagine where this is headed. After losing a few marshmallows to her snacking friend, Hannah Grace held all of the marshmallows over her head where Addi couldn’t reach them, and from what I can imagine (not so politely) told Addi to stop. So naturally, Addi gives HG a little kick in the leg. Things probably escalated at this point because HG is known to be a little (ahem) dramatic and Addi ended up in time out. That evening, Lauren and I sat in a hotel room in Atlanta trying to get all of the information we could via FaceTime because we both felt we had a lesson to teach. From Hannah Grace’s point of view, Addi kicked her. She was not acknowledging her part of the story. She saw what Addi did as the “bad thing”. I tried to explain to her what she did wrong and how she could have avoided the situation, but all she could say was “but Addi did”. She saw Addi’s offense as worse than her’s, so surely her’s didn’t count. God reveals so much to me through Hannah Grace and parenting. I wanted so badly for her to accept her part in this and apologize - to repent. This reminds me of Adam and Eve in the garden after they have done what they know they shouldn’t have done. God asks them “Have you eaten the fruit from the of the tree I commanded you not to eat?” Gen. 3:11 Adams first response? It was her, not me! She gave it to me, it’s her fault. Then when the Lord asks Eve, “What have you done?” Gen. 3:13 Her response? It was the serpent - he tricked me. In the end, God held them ALL accountable: man, woman, and serpent. You see this is not a 4 and 6 year old issue, this is a human issue. We’re all accountable for our own sin. It’s easy to look around and claim “Look what they did!”, but the reality is that in any disagreement, there is usually shared responsibility. My encouragement is when faced with a disagreement, don’t place blame, but examine your own responsibility in the situation and extend grace - because we all need a little grace... Cape House | Home & Hospitality Boutique | Amelia Island, FL