Reflections in Leadership
February 26, 2018
Today i’m compelled to write about leadership, primarily because there are so many examples of it all around us right now. It seems no matter where you turn there is someone stepping out, speaking up and taking the helm.
Some, are inspiring and surprising like teenagers organizing an international march that had hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. Other leaders challenge us by making decisions we may not agree with and bring issues or belief systems to the surface for us. From my perspective, this moment in history is giving us a tremendous opportunity to look at our way of thinking about leadership.
I remember the rude awakening my 17 year old self received from the first chef I worked for. He was a fiery one. He was known for screaming and throwing things in the kitchen and belittling you for any error, big or small. Some of the cooks thrived in this cut throat environment and loved the discipline, but I knew that this was not the type of person I would flourish under. I quickly learned what not to do to avoid his temper and started to look for a better fit.
I knew that finding the right team to mentor me was crucial. Eventually, I found restaurant owners who were willing to invest time into my growth. The General Manager, took me under her wing and left little room for work to feel unvaried. She gave me achievable goals and areas for expression with a ton of support along the way. In fact, I mimic her patience and work ethic to this day.
Over the years I worked for a variety of restaurant owners and corporations and all of those experiences shaped the leader I came to be. I am humbled to see how I have led in my 20 years of management. At times I could be categorized as a dictator, pioneer, commander, teacher, buddy, innovator and so on. I recognize that adopting those identities were a huge part in teaching me to become diverse and versatile. The type of leader we choose to be can have a tremendous effect on all aspects of our business and those around us. So choose that stance wisely and with care.
In my opinion, the best measure of a great leader is how they inspire. How they listen. How they play to the strengths and tend to the weakness of themselves and their team.
My question to you is what sort of leader are you? Who along the way inspired you by their positive and negative example? Are you attracting the right mentor to propel your growth? Is your work environment supporting and challenging your development?
I would love to hear your story, leave your comments below or shoot us an email.
Till Next Time..