Early morning flights can be tough, especially when you live two hours from the airport. So, the night before a “crack of dawn” flight, my wife and I elected to stay at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel right beside the Atlanta airport. We requested a room on a high floor on the runway side of the property. I am a Marriott platinum guest, which means I frequent their properties.

“Oh, trust me, you will absolutely love this room,” said the friendly desk clerk when my wife reminded her of our high floor request. She was right. The top floor room was a huge corner suite complete with a full kitchen, expansive living room, and two baths. I called the front desk clerk to thank her for the luxurious upgrade. “Oh, we do this occasionally to surprise our special guests like you.” It was “radical generosity”—a gift without a hitch. I was already a loyal customer.

Radical generosity is service emanating from the inner joy of serving. And it has a magical aspect to it. It works only when there is no expectation or requirement of a response in kind. Yet, it can evoke a deep loyalty and bond from the recipient that typically yields a response in kind. Reciprocity is the effect or result when reciprocity is not the intent or objective. My loyalty to Marriott became more of a raving fan than a faithful guest.