April 30, 2024

Legendary Moments Become Stories


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on Unreasonable Hospitality: The remarkable power of giving people more than they expected by Will Guidara. So, in this blog, I wanted to expand on what Will wrote in the book about creating legendary moments. This is where you create a remarkable unexpected experience for someone.

Creating Legendary Moments

Will first realised the power of creating legendary moments when he had four diners in his restaurant Eleven Madison Park who had been in New York for a week. This was their final meal before heading to the airport. He had overheard them talk about all the amazing food they had eaten but their only lament was that they had not had a chance to eat a street hotdog.

After hearing this Will calmly left the restaurant and ran down the street to buy a hotdog. He then asked his Michelin star award winning chef and partner to cut it into four and plate it up… which he did reluctantly.

Will delivered the hotdog to the four customers saying he had overheard their conversation and did not want them to leave New York with any culinary regrets. Their reaction was amazing. They told Will that it was the highlight of their New York trip.

Legends Become Stories

Will reflects in his book that,

“They’d tell this story for the rest of their lives”.

As a result, Will and the Eleven Madison Park team call these moments ‘Legends’. They even went on to systemise the process and give their employees creative autonomy to deliver these legends. The management team also find ways to create these legends for their employees.

Legends are the experiences that create what I call Magnetic Stories. As in these four diners will never ever forget that experience and they will be telling that story for the rest of their lives.

I have written about this previously in my book Magnetic Stories. When you deliver an unexpected experience, it creates a magnetic story… an emotional connection that is memorable and hard to pull away from.

In his book, Will sums this up perfectly when he states:

“Why do people put so much time and effort into a marriage proposal? Because they know it’s a story they’ll tell for the rest of their lives.”

By retelling a story, you also relive the emotional experience, so it takes you right back to that moment.

Implementing Magnetic Stories

In my book Magnetic Stories: Connect with Customers and Engage Employees with brand storytelling I share a five-step process to implement storytelling into your organisation.

  1. Define what you want to be known for – this is normally your organisational values.
  2. Teach all the relevant people the power of storytelling. Empower them to live the values and commence an intentional cycle of collecting, communicating, and creating stories.
  3. Formalise a process to Collect these already existing magnetic stories.
  4. Communicate these stories internally and externally to customers and employees.
  5. Deliver experiences (or legends) that Create ongoing magnetic stories.

If you need some help implementing storytelling, you know where to find me.

I am dining at Eleven Madison Park next week and can’t wait for the experience so I will keep you posted!


P.S. There are limited spots left for a one-off training program I am running in New York on 14th May with Janine Garner. You can find out more and register via this link.