It’s been a long time since I worked in the restaurant business, but I still remember some of the valuable leadership lessons that I learned while there. One that still rings true is that your staff is a reflection of you, their leader.
I could walk into a restaurant and within 10 seconds know the manager’s level of professionalism just by observing his staff. If they looked neat and professional, had smiles on their faces and genuinely looked like they enjoyed doing what they were doing, I always saw a leader who reflected that very behavior.
On the other hand, if the staff looked sloppy, disinterested and unhappy, the manager was always a carbon copy. Never did I see an unprofessional manager with a professional looking staff or vice versa.
As leaders, we set the bar for all that our employees represent. In most cases, employees follow the path of least resistance and do exactly what is expected of them — little more.
Oh, I know there are those people who have personal pride and will set their own bar regardless of the type of leadership present. But, in my experience, those people get frustrated over time and either give up altogether or move on to a competitor who values their effort.
Take a few minutes to look at your business through the eyes of your customer. Do you like what you see? Would you do business with you? Hopefully, the answer is yes. If not, it may be time to set a new standard — one that starts with you.
Dan Monaghan is the director of Training at the Manufacturer & Business Association.
Ready to sharpen your leadership skills? For information about the Association’s regionally recognized professional development courses, please contact me at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website www.mbausa.org.