Grace under pressure.

I was just leaving the FAO Schwarz store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Black Friday when I happened to bump into the CEO. He was standing outside the store introducing himself and thanking people for supporting his store.

I was impressed that a CEO would take the time – especially on such a busy day – to personally thank customers. But I was also impressed at how well the store seemed to be running that day, and how pleasant all of the staff seemed to be. And this was at noon or so, when the day had already been hours long for them.

You can tell a lot about the culture of the company by how they perform in a difficult situation. And I can’t imagine a more difficult situation than the day after Thanksgiving. Yet these people were handling things as if they dealt with this kind of pressure every day – flawlessly demonstrating incredible grace under pressure.

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