The Secret to Owning a Successful Business:
Sustainable Growth, the cornerstone of any successful restaurant or business, rests on the shoulders of three profound elements: Leadership, Culture, and Strategy.
In this article, we’ll focus on Leadership.
What is Leadership?
Countless volumes of books, articles, podcasts, blogs, and conferences do their best to help leaders every day to get better at this thing we call Leadership. I always like to go simple and start with a definition from one of my best friends, Merriam. Webster, of course.
The dictionary defines Leadership (noun): as a person who guides or directs a group; Leadership (verb): to guide on a way especially by going in advance or to direct on a course or in a direction.
NOT EVERYONE IS A LEADER
Contrary to some contemporary thought, not everyone is a leader. Leadership is about more than influence. While there certainly is a special essence of influencing those who are being led, there is also a clear depiction by the definition of guiding and directing while also going in advance of those who are led.
Admittedly, in every organization, there are far more people that should assume Leadership that don’t and to paraphrase something Pat Lencioni shared in a recent conference I attended, there are probably a lot of people leading that should not.
WHAT DOES LEADERSHIP MEAN TO YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Now that we understand the essence of Leadership and leading, what does that mean to your organization?
Can we look at any organization with the same lenses? Yes…and no.
Sustainable Growth rests squarely on the shoulders of Leadership, and the balance of that Leadership is dependent upon the context of your business, and your organizational dynamics.
LEADER DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY
When analyzing influence in your restaurant or business, you should begin with two concepts: leader development and leader diversity.
Sustainable Growth best occurs when there is more than one leader. There must be depth as well as a breadth of Leadership.
If you are reading this as a restaurateur or even a small business leader, ask may yourself, “Am I the only leader on my team?” The only excuse for answering that with a “yes” is if you are the ONLY person in your organization (even then, a Sustainable Growth MindsetTM ensures you don’t stay that way for long)!
Over time, hiring and investing in middle-level leaders and helping them take the initiative to improve their leadership skills will pay considerable dividends: for them, for you, and most tangibly, your organization.
Think about what type of leaders you have in your organization. Certain leader types may be more effective than others in your space.
Some leaders love details! Details energize and make them tick. Surely you know somebody like this?
There are still some that are exceptional at helping everyone see the BIG picture, visionary and inspiring as they articulate the 30,000-foot view as few others can.
Additionally, there are those of us energized when surrounded by people–the team we work with, a robust audience, or countless customers and clients.
Lastly, there are those empowered by the closing of a door, finding themselves alone in peaceful solitude with their ideas.
Which of these is good? Is one worse than another? Can there be a “good” or “bad”?
DETERMINE YOUR LEADERSHIP TYPE?
Are you a Maverick or Pioneer? An Operator or Reconciler?
What about those on your team?
In the fast-paced restaurant industry, where the customer’s desire is instant gratification, Leadership is critical, details matter, and self-awareness is the beginning of a leader’s growth journey. Your team’s future growth depends on it!
Take our short, quick persona quizzes (click here) or have your whole organization figure out where they are on the spectrum. It will help you and your team see yourselves in a different way, and improve, regardless of where you are.
3 QUICK-ACTION STEPS TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
Here are three actionable tasks that may serve you well in your endeavor to bring out the best in your business through Leadership:
- Assess yourself and your team’s personas. Send SLA’s Leader-persona quiz (FREE!). This exercise alone will increase self-awareness and learning.
- Bring the team together—in whole or in parts—and share personas. What do you see? Any surprises? Any trends or fresh observations?
- Lastly, ask yourself, “Are we balanced?” Do you have gaps? Blind spots? If so, generate some options that will improve your team’s balance.
LET’S GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!