Why is it that you can have two people with relatively the same age, background and acumen have two vastly different outcomes from the same team? The straightforward and non-simple answer is leadership. Once you see them in action, is only when you see whether or not they’re real leaders. You may have a hunch that someone has leadership potential, but it’s never real until you see results. A great leader isn’t cheap, but a leader pays for their salary multiple times over. A leader has the vision to ensure things get done consistently and that they have a path to staying consistently done, along with calling an audible on stuff that’s not working. Leaders don’t call it in because they weren’t told to change anything or try harder.
Meanwhile, a manager only checks the boxes. All great leaders are superb managers. The reverse is not true. Managers are doers, and there is nothing wrong with that. You need people who are doers, but doers are not necessarily self-starters or visionaries who see the forest through the trees. That is a leader, and you need leaders.
Never has leadership been more important than today to guide in the highly competitive environment what it takes to let employees feel valued and driven simultaneously. It’s a tightrope walk that takes vision daily. In your restaurant right now, you have leaders, and they might not be supervisors. Your number one concern regarding your workforce must be nurturing leaders to take charge of your restaurant and motivating them to do so. With that said, great leaders don’t need motivation as much as they need a go-ahead from you to make moves and not get in trouble. They need the shackles taken off them. Whomever you have that is shackled right now, release it. Let your Mustangs be Mustangs, and your mules stay in place.
The leader leads by example, and the most significant defining characteristic is that they own everything. They take pride and comfort in knowing that they could have fixed anything that goes wrong, and that’s why it angers them. THEY OWN, therefore they progress. The opposite of a leader finds every reason to say why it’s not their fault or their responsibility. The person who was absolutely not at fault but still finds a reason to take some responsibility feels comfortable knowing they can control things. They feel empowered in fixing things and hate feeling like a helpless victim. That is why they’re a leader, and that is why they will make themselves successful. And you, in the process, promote these people, curate these people because they are your future.
They are your future because this leader can tend to their store, enhance their crew, and get you on to your next endeavor. Great leaders leave because of apathetic managers and lazy owners. If you think you are not lazy, remember that the laziest thing you can do is their job for them. Yes, when you do others’ work for them and don’t let them lead and develop, it’s out of a laziness not to spend time training and instead a choice to live in fear of their failure. As a result, this behavior never lets them develop, or you get out of your own way.
So for this new year, choose to remove shackles, develop, train, believe and grow.
MIKE BAUSCH is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Instagram: @mikeybausch