When I was younger, all I wanted from my manager or supervisor was that they knew something about what I did, so they could give me guidance. There was always an understanding between us and I could feel good knowing we were on the same page. I had the most respect for that leader that backed me up when I wasn’t there, went to bat for me knowing my role in the organization was fulfilling the need I was hired to meet, and that I was doing everything we mutually agreed I should do.
Leading Through Hand's On Experience
I’ve taken that into my leadership roles over the years. When I worked for a large chain of restaurants which specialized in breakfast, and known for being on every corner (sometimes on more than one for any given crossroads), I was tasked with opening a new store, and training the cooks. Sure there were processes and manuals, but the new trainees got the most from the hands on experience. The experience for me was unique in that the folks we had hired were all, and I mean all, hands on workers. After the fourth or fifth shift I worked, I couldn’t get anywhere near the grill. I was amazed as I was pushed out of the way when I tried to run a couple of orders on my own.
Leading by Setting, Communicating and Sticking to Goals
I didn’t pursue a career in the industry, but will always be influenced by it. I’ve been very fortunate to be in that same position over the years. The teams I’ve been on go by the mantra. We have an agreed upon set of goals that each of us are responsible for and we execute them to the best of our abilities. If someone outside of the team questions one of the member’s efforts, I am there to make sure it’s me they are talking to, and not my team member. As long as they were reaching their goals as we had agreed to, I would never allow someone else to question those efforts. Also, if there was any dispute, I would be the person to bring it to the team member.
Now, you want to go behind me, or go around me, I can be just as much of a force to reckon with. I consider that the loyalty to the team we all should expect. If you are in the right seat on the bus, we’re going to get along swimmingly, or we’ll find the right seat. I always will want it to be on my bus, but sometimes that may not be the case. Either way, the team will be successful.