382: Collaborating with the greatness in others with Donnie Madia

In this episode with Donnie Madia, we discuss the power of collaboration, knowing your strengths, attracting onto yourself those who are strong where you’re weak, taking the ideas of others and tweaking them to make them your own, no one person being greater than the whole, having a will to succeed, How Madia and his business partners got the money to start Blackbird, how to attract greatness onto yourself, What makes a successful partnership, the importance of finding the right real estate deal, opening restaurant close to each other, and the power of masterminding.

Chicago-born, Donnie Madia got his first lessons in hospitality by observing his mother and aunt caring for and serving guests in their home. It is said that Donnie has mastered the art of collaboration, and is gifted with the ability to see and connect talent. Today, Madia serves as co-founder of One Off Hospitality Group In Chicago IL and has received 5 James Beard Awards acknowledge his work.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Successful men and women should walk among other successful men and women.”

“Whatever it is you’re going to do, try to be the best at what you do.”

Today’s Sponsor


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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Never says no.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Never says no.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    • Lead by example.
    • Do the dirty work.
    • Be humble.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Honesty.
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Retention
    • They’re trying to find unique was to add value to employees
  6. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    1. Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy

  7. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    1. iPad Pro
    2. IAnnotate
  8. With all the knowledge you have now if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?

    • Spend more time with those you love. Be present. It will happen. Be patient.

Contact Info


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Donnie Madia for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!