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It’s hard to play the long game, until...

I saw Kiyo last week. Twenty-four years ago I worked with Kiyo. I was her busboy and she was the waitress. She was 61 years old and strong back then. Not much has changed except 24 years in time.

She plays the long game and still gets after it at 85 years old.


Kiyo - Getting After it, at 85 Years old

Maddox Steakhouse

As I ate my steak and visited with my family, I couldn’t help but watch Kiyo work amongst people 60 to 70 years younger than her.

Naturally, Kiyo moves slower than the younger staff, but her movements are efficient. Her English is not native but she speaks clearly and directly. When Kiyo speaks she knows what she is aiming for and people listen. I watched her direct a 6-foot 5-inch manager around the floor and the guy listened.

Kiyo is respected and people listen to her. No big job title, she is just good at what she does.

There are Kiyo’s in many companies and professions. They work hard, know their job and people work hard for them. They don’t show up on your Instagram feed with a selfie of how awesome they are. They know life and work are hard and are ready to play the long game. They have a deep meaning about their work and take pride in what they do.

Cheers to the Kiyos. Taking the long game to new levels.

PS - At many companies the Kiyos get labeled as underperformers or not “management” material because they are not loud and yelling the answers at every meeting. The people who you think have all the answers often don’t. It’s hard to recruit people like Kiyo.

Ben Martinez