In the book Leaders, Bennis and Nanus make a simple statement. "The truth is that leadership opportunities are plentiful and within reach of most people." This is true in the restaurant industry. There is a need, whether your sites are set on a job position as a general manager, restaurant manager, or some other restaurant job. |
Many people have the skill set and experience to perform these jobs effectively. They may even have the mindset, but they lack one thing. Leadership skills. A little known fact is that the term 'born leader' is a misnomer that keeps many potential managers from taking bold steps in their career plan. The truth is, leadership is a developed skill. It is a learned habit. It may be more true to claim that it is an 'unlearned habit.'
What a Leader is Not
Leaders are people who can influence others. The general trend is to bully and coherce people into obedience. This is a very short sighted and unprofitable leadhership model. It results in high turn over rates which add a laboursome burden to most restaurant's budget. It results in poor staff moral which destroys the customer experience. It can also lead to employee apathy and lack of respect. This last problem is an intangible that can destroy a restaurant by degrees. One employee may break a piece of equipment, another is disrespectful to the patrons, another wastes food, and the problem snowballs. A once profitable restaurant is now in trouble and no one can find the problem.
It is easy to rely on disrespect, bullying, rules, and even abuse to keep a team in order. This type of leader is able to keep business running on a mediocure level. A close look at their business model shows a hard working, over worked, under appreaciated manager. What they don't see is that if they adopted a more leadership position and dropped the totalitarian model they could work far less, focus on the important projects, and watch their restaurant florish.
What is a Leader
The solution is to hire leaders who have stopped relying on control, and rely on influence to lead their team. The key to success in any endeavor is to lead a team successfully.
The president of Hayatt Hotels said in Newsweek, "If there is anything I have learned in my 27 years in the service industry, it is this: 99 percent of all employees want to do a good job. How they perform is simply a reflection of the one for whom they work." (David Hartley-Leonard, Newsweek, 24 August 1987, 11.)
The visible habits shared by successful leaders:
They lead by example They are present on the floor with the staff They take an interest in the staff They learn how to communicate well They learn how to implement change without rebellion They have a high level of self discipline They are problem solvers They have a positive, optimistic attitude They take responsibility. No excuses. No lies. They make decisions based on facts not feelings and wants They listen They understand the difference between a task problem and a people problem They solve problems before they become an emergency. They deligate They praise and affirm They are numbers people
The unseen aspects of leadership include:
As they climb the ladder you have more responsiblity and less rights They learn to separate and individuals behavior from the individual They value their prime 'assets' - people Failure is not a goal. It is a chance to restart more intelligently They respond to situations. They do not react. They have a plan for success that can be articulated verbally They can explain their job in less than 50 words They have adopted and developed a systematic problem solving strategy that can be written on paper
There are more habits leaders share. The important theme is that leaders are focused on people, they are problem solvers, and they have a positive attitute. This can be difficult to maintain on a daily basis without educating, coaching, and practice.
Mike Moore is published on more than 300 websites. He writes success and career articles that cover topics from restaurant management, career paths, business management, home based business, and business start up. . He is published on various website including http://geckohospitality.com
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