This lyric from Tom Sawyer by RUSH has been in my head and heart for awhile now.
Catch the witness, catch the wit
Catch the spirit, catch the spit – RUSH
When we lead with authenticity and boldness we are telling a story with spirit. People get inspired. Change happens. And everyone gets better. I’ve often heard it said that leadership isn’t taught, it’s caught. I think that is absolutely true.
In the restaurant business I often see leaders with their heads down and trudging through the shift, and as the shifts turn into days, trying to will better things to happen. But they fail to realize that “willing something” to happen will never result in sustainable, reproducible, great results.
When a leader takes a step back and sees the big picture, they realize that all of that effort has been misdirected. When they take a step back and bring someone alongside to help them see what they see, that is where the magic happens.
Investing in the existing and the future leaders of your restaurant will pay huge dividends that will far outlast your time with that leader. Helping them learn how to inspire others through their personal brand of leadership will stay with them forever. Helping a leader understand how to diagnose the root cause of a problem will help them be a far more effective leader than they would have been if they continued to focus on the symptoms of the problem.
Teach. Coach. Lead. Give the people you are working with an opportunity to catch the witness of what you’re doing, catch the wit of how you communicate, catch the spirit of your influence, and yes, maybe even catch a little spit. If leadership is caught by spending time with you than there is no greater honor for you as a leader, and no greater gift you can give the person you are investing in.
Both of you will be better for the investment you are making.