We can talk all day long about how wonderful we are, but the voice that really matters is yours. We strive to make you feel warm and welcome in our place. We try to make your Napa Valley experience the best we possibly can.
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Here is a review on Erin's Blog that I had to share:
Leadership with Breakfast Souffle and a Fluffy Pillow
Along with two other couples, my husband and I recently traveled to one of our favorite destinations, Napa Valley. The scenery is picturesque and romantic, the air contains the sweet fragrance of grapes and the vineyards produce some of the best wines in the world. As if that�s not enough to throw me over the top, we typically splurge further by staying in a bed & breakfast. (When is it NOT a good idea to begin your day with French toast souffl�?!!)
This trip, in particular, was extra special because we had much to celebrate with our friends, including our 10-year wedding anniversary, two birthdays, two promotions, several awards/honors and supportive friendships that have made impactful differences in each of our lives. With this in mind, the six of us traveled to California ready for the time of our lives!
We arrived on the front doorstep of the lovely Cedar Gables Inn, where my husband and I have stayed before. We came back because we love the historic home, the decadent breakfasts, and most of all, the innkeepers, Ken and Susie Pope. They have mastered the art of making their guests feel spoiled while still providing a comfortable, at-home feeling, and they engage with their guests in a way that makes the B&B experience that much more memorable.
What great stories Ken and Susie have to share too!! Not only is their home rich with history, antiques and unique conversation-starters, but Ken and Susie have a romantic personal story that seems fateful in how it led them to become the owners of Cedar Gables. In addition, their story paints a perfect picture to display the attributes of successful leaders.
Leaders Must Have a Vision (one that they�re willing to go for!!)
Prior to purchasing Cedar Gables Inn, Ken and Susie had never owned a B&B. They had a keen interest in one another early in their dating relationship, but they faced the challenge of work schedules that demanded them during opposite hours of the day. Knowing that wouldn�t help them progress in their relationship, Ken suggested that they make some changes and perhaps find something they could do together. Not long after they analyzed their strengths, passions and values, they landed on the idea of a B&B, knowing that it would provide a forum for so many things they loved, including each other. Voila! A vision was born, and they went to Napa Valley to pursue it.
Leaders Must Have Passion
�Nobody can be successful unless he loves his work,� says David Sarnoff. Ken and Susie chose to be B&B owners and operators based on their passions and interests. Ken is the ultimate handyman � not afraid of plumbing, electric or even architectural design. He loves to dabble and upgrade, restore and refinish, and he�s even happy to accommodate the necessary evils of owning a home built in the 1800�s.
Susie is gifted and passionate in other ways that make them the ideal complement for their profession. She is a fabulous cook, creating a nice variety of indulgences for breakfast, happy hour, and even a late-night sweet treat. In addition, she has the warmth and hospitality of your very favorite Aunt, who makes you feel special, cozy and loved. My friend, Pam, joked that if she ever got sick, she would want to come back, just so Susie could take care of her! We all quickly agreed that Susie has a gift for making you feel spoiled!! There�s no doubt that it�s also her passion � it so clearly shines in her!
Leaders Must Be Willing to Take Risks
Given that they had never owned, operated or worked for a B&B in their past (Susie had never even stayed in one!), Ken and Susie took a calculated risk in purchasing their own. Within a short time period, they both sold their homes (did I mention that they had only been dating for a few months at this point?), made an offer on the Inn and had read every book about B&B�s they could get their hands on. They knew that Ken had a good business background in addition to his passion for handywork, and Susie could leverage her passions in addition to her experiences at a culinary school. With the combination of their skills, experiences, passion and knowledge, they were comfortable with the level of risk. In 2004, they became the owners of Cedar Gables Inn and began to live out their dreams (a great payoff for risk!)
Leaders Must Be Able to Roll With the Unexpected
As B&B operators, your life is anything but yours and your time constraints can change at a moment�s notice!! Ken and Susie are the most accommodating people I�ve met. They simply roll with their guests, either jumping in to share their wonderful stories, or stepping back to allow a romantic couple some quiet time. They host evening happy hours, and, yet again, they roll with whatever happens. Only a few may show up and enjoy the freshly prepared appetizers and zesty lime tea or local wine. On the other hand, everyone may show up, enjoy the food, drink and conversation. If that�s the case, then Ken pulls out his acoustic guitar, and provides light music in the background�and he�ll stay and entertain until your heart is content. They just roll with it all, always smiling, always accommodating, never allowing you to think for a second that you may be putting them out. They do their jobs well, with passion and excellence. Ken says �I tell Susie, if it ever feels like work, we�re done with it at that point.� It�s this joy that makes their work not feel so much like work�and that allows them to roll with the unexpected.
Leaders Must Be Extraordinary
To be engaging, inspiring and motivational, leaders can�t be just like everyone else. It takes a special person � one that is willing to go above and beyond, one that is willing to take the responsibility for the vision and one that will make the journey enjoyable. A true leader is a �special breed;� someone extraordinary.
Ken and Susie fit this description and are the ideal innkeepers, as a result. They are living their dreams, and everyone who comes to visit simply gets to be a small part. They don�t feel that way, of course. There�s no doubt that they would tell you that its every guest that�s making their dreams come true. They are totally selfless, generous and completely outward-facing � a demonstration of servant leadership at its finest.
Nobody will leave the Cedar Gables Inn unhappy, if Ken and Susie can help it. The morning of our departure, we had to leave about an hour and a half before breakfast was served in order to catch our flight home. I let Susie know that she shouldn�t expect us, and without hesitation she announced, �Well, then I�ll just serve you an hour and a half early! You have to have full stomachs when you leave my bed and breakfast!� And indeed we did!! With one last fantastic meal, freshly brewed custom blend coffee and a few more stories, we left our fairytale setting knowing we�ll be back again�
BRAVO, Ken and Susie! Can�t wait to see you again!
Do you know leaders like Ken and Susie � ones that go all-out, with passion in their belly and joy in their heart? What difference has that made for you?
Erin Schreyer is the President of Sagestone Partners. She is passionate about developing people and companies to become their best through leadership, talent management and motivation. For additional information, please e-mail Erin at [email protected] or go to www.sagestone-pertners.com.
Posted by Erin Schreyer