Six years ago, shortly before Christmas I visited my oldest daughter (Dr. Daughter if you please—proud dad) and her family in Melbourne, FL. The last night of my visit my then 17-year-old granddaughter was at work. It’s her first job. She’s a server at a sit down fast food restaurant. Her mother and I decided to visit the restaurant and sit in her section. It was fun to watch her interact with customers—I may be a little prejudiced, but she did a darn good job and earned the tips to prove it.

Then it got busy; to make a long story short it took 40 minutes to deliver the chili I had ordered. The onion rings had arrived 20 minutes earlier. Several guests seated after us had their food before us. It seems no one in the kitchen was in charge of dispensing chili. Suddenly yelling and cursing erupted from the kitchen. My granddaughter had informed the cook it had been 40 minutes and asked when she could have the chili. My granddaughter was being cussed out by the cook.

The Apology

The manager diffused the situation and came over to talk with us. Did I mention, that when we arrived, my daughter signed a document outlining the businesses zero tolerance for a hostile work environment in regards to underage employees? The manager apologized.

The Good Manager

I had observed the manager help bus tables, carry food, and run the counter. He was an involved player-coach. He had worked nationally for this chain and had come here from a corporate training position. And … he was ready to go back. I asked about the training and learned it was all about procedure. There was little or no leadership or people skill training.

The…Not so Good Manager

The general manager was in the restaurant, but we hadn’t seen him until the ruckus. After the incident, he came over to talk with us. He seemed more concerned about avoiding a lawsuit than offering a sincere apology or finding a remedy. After apologizing to my daughter he pointed at the cook in plain view of her co-workers and customers then loudly said, “We will have a talk about this, you can rest assured.” The lack of leadership training showed. I felt sorry for the young cook.

Leadership Training Can Make or Break a Business

One of the most essential assets any business has is its people. A staff can make or break an operation. Even great procedures will fail when managed by a sub-par team. Conversely, an outstanding team can make inadequate systems work. Exceptional employees, great teams, and visionary leaders are developed; they must be trained. And they should be trained on more than how to put pickles on a hamburger. They need people development and leadership training. Whether it’s outsourced or taught in-house, leadership should be as much a part of management training as systems, policies, and procedures.

How Can I help? 

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course im effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program.

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Photo by Denise Jones on Unsplash