High Tea at The Drake

Fancy ballroom

Singapore is one of my favorite cities. Yes, technically it is a sovereign city-state, but I think you know what I mean. And you also know what I mean if you’ve ever had the privilege of visiting. I’ve never met anyone who has spent time in Singapore who hasn’t been impressed. While it’s certainly not everyone’s favorite city, if you’ve visited, it’s likely to be high on your list.

The first time I visited was over 25 years ago. And not only did I have a productive week at work and a couple days of sightseeing, it was my first flight on Singapore Air (another article for another week). A life-changing experience in itself!

While in Singapore I learned about the Raffles Hotel, an iconic British hotel from a bygone era. And I decided it would be great to stay there sometime. Fast forward 20 years and I was back in Singapore to attend an executive program at INSEAD. And at the end of my coursework, my family flew in and we, you guessed it, stayed at the Raffles Hotel. It was a wonderful experience that met all our expectations though we just missed Prince William and Catherine by a week. Due to all the necessary security, that was probably good timing, if lucky, on our part.

And while at the Raffles, we went to high tea. An incredible experience! Definitely worth the price of admission. Now I’m more of a coffee guy, but I do drink tea. I’m also a more informal guy, but on occasion, I do like to participate in formal events, like high tea at the Raffles.

Well last week, my daughter was in town for her spring break. We’ve never been a big “beach and party for spring break” kinda family so she came to Chicago and explored the city with her mom and me. Being new to the area, we looked up some “touristy” things to do. And one that popped up was having high tea at The Drake, an iconic Chicago hotel. And guess what? The queen and Diana have had tea at The Drake. So by having high tea there and the Raffles we would practically be “royals.” Right?

So I made reservations and on a Saturday morning we took the express train into Union Station from the suburbs, walked around, shopped at Macy’s on State Street and then made our way north of the river on a bus (like the locals!) to The Drake. It was a unique experience, different than high tea at the Raffles. Both great. Both pricey. Both worth it.

But it didn’t happen by accident. It was planned and discussed. We talked about days and times. We looked at options to get to The Drake including driving and Uber/Lyft. We discussed other options like high tea at The Peninsula. We had conversation about what we wanted to do before and after high tea. And so on.

We had a vision. We had a strategy. We planned. We executed. We were intentional. We were deliberate. We were successful and had a great time.

Whether you’re planning a day in Chicago, your retirement, your life, your family, your job or your weekend, you need a plan to be successful. You need to be intentional and execute your plan. You need to collaborate, communicate and coordinate (sounds like buying a diamond, right?). Great leaders know that you don’t just walk into The Drake and have high tea.

Hope you have a great week. Be intentional. Set a plan and execute it. Enjoy your high tea at The Drake.

is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.

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