I mentioned before that I worked at Olive Garden for 17.5 years as a manager. What I did not mention, as of yet, was something that rang true for me and/or any other manager on duty at the time. Your team is what can make or break you!
This is true in real life as well. The people you have with you to support you, rely on you, and simply spend time with you must be those who are ready to help you move forward in a positive direction.
People may not always tell you what you want to hear, they may not always do what you want them to do, and they will make mistakes but they should have good intentions in the end.
At Olive Garden, just like many other jobs out there, challenges did arise all the time. Many times I got the “call from my Director” and/or “email” that said, “you have to save labor dollars TODAY!” This meant so many things that are unknown to those who have not been in that position. Let’s just say that “saving labor” is like driving a car on two wheels. It can be done, but we all know that a car runs better on four wheels. Anyhow, this is not a labor lesson so let’s get back to the point. Your team is what will allow the car to run on two wheels instead of four. Their attitude towards you, as the manager on duty, plays a HUGE part in that.
Basically, when you get that call, you hope that you’ve done the following:
- Built a good report with them
- Established their trust so that they know you will be there to help them
- Made it clear that you will defend them if something goes wrong
- Made it clear that you will do something special for them if they deserve it
- Made it clear that you will inform the higher level boss that they worked hard
- Made it clear that you won’t tolerate their attitude to not cooperate
- Made it clear that you will send them home, despite being short staffed, if they choose to act up
Isn’t real life the same way? It is important that we show people how we will be there for them when they need us to be. It is important to lend others a helping hand, to make them feel good about themselves, to uplift them, and to help them see that they can do things that they thought were impossible.
The bad ones can be shaped for the better, most of the time, simply by stating your expectations. It takes a little time and effort but it is worth it in the end.
The blogging world works the same way; You have those who fully support you by liking, commenting, and inspiring you to do more than you thought possible. Then, you have those who never give you the time of day.
I had bad eggs at the Olive Garden (in regards to labor-saving). We kept them around, despite their attitude towards the system, because they had other great qualities. Some of the ones that hated running on those low labor days had the best attitude towards the guests and they had pride in the fact that they came in every day to give a great dining experience to each and every guest. Although they were not the best ones to have on staff when you got that call and/or email, they were still beneficial in their own way. **You may be thinking “Why am I calling guest-focused employees bad eggs?” I answer you with this: “They were not bad overall just bad for the sake of labor-saving which is the topic I am using to portray this message today.”
Sometimes we need to look a bit further to see what others have to offer. Don’t overlook someone that is good for you just because they have an attitude towards something. You never know… they might be there to teach you about something that you needed to learn.
With blogging, I have followed writers out there who are better than myself, so that I can learn from them. Some of them follow me back and comment so nicely! Other don’t necessarily like and/or comment on my posts, but I still get something out of them. I get to learn how to better my writing, so that is good enough or me.
What does your team look like?
I hope that you are doing well and please know that I am always happy to hear from you.