5. You must manage your state.
State is the energy. Your energy. Just like in an atom, there are positive and negative charges. Whether you know it or not, as a leader, your energy has a great impact on your business. It always starts with the leader. If you come into work in a bad mood, you start looking for things to reinforce that bad mood like fuel. Energy begets energy. Negative thoughts crave more negative and on the flip side, positive thoughts crave positive. The problem comes when positive clashes with negative. Sad to say that most time negative will overpower the positive thoughts.
Psychologists call this negativity bias. The human brain is amazing and it has evolved for one basic drive…survival. Negativity bias was built in so we would could pass on our genetic code to future members of our lineage. So, most people are hardwired to be sensitive to bad news over good news. Knowing that you are wired this way is a good thing, because now you can take steps to change.
“Awareness precedes choice. Choice precedes change.”
Making sure your energy is on the positive side when you are at your restaurant is a key trait for badass leaders. They are consistently monitoring their state and making adjustments to keep that energy elevated throughout the day.
How can you keep your state at its peak level?
- Eat better
- Listen to high-energy music
- Get a good night of sleep
Use the way you brain is wired to be sensitive to negative energy to keep a vigilance against it. Post signs in work areas and your office declaring “NO Negativity.” Become a seeker of the good and the good things come to you. The old saying of “seek and you will find it” is so very true. Stand guard of your state and work throughout the day to keep it up.
6. You need to be committed to kaizen.
If you are not familiar with the word “kaizen,” you need to be. It is a Japanese word that means constant and never-ending improvement. True leaders are committed to self-improvement. If leadership starts at the top and flows down, then you are the source for that. When you get better and become your best self, then you will see your people rise in their skills, as well.
How many books do you read? Listen to audiobooks? Read any trade magazines? Dig through other posts on Foodable? Your dedication and the time you invest in yourself will tell more about your chances for success as a leader than you realize. If you think you can be a badass by just putting in your normal work hours, you are fooling yourself. Badass leadership is a dedication to the philosophy of kaizen. Improve yourself and if you are a true leader, the others around you will elevate their game.
7. Work on your communication skills.
It can be said that 99 percent of problems in restaurants are due to communication — from either miscommunication or just bad communication. Badass leaders are able to articulate their vision, core values, and standards. They make it a daily ritual to talk to their team. If you think that posting that memo on the wall telling the team your rules and policies is communicating, welcome to being a part of the problem.
True leaders communicate by being authentic and having integrity. Don't be the manager or owner who makes all kinds of promises and never follows up or follows through. Your team wants a leader that backs up their words with actions.
Communication is a skill that can be learned. Yes, there are some people who communicate easily and naturally. That does not mean they don't have to refine their skills of influence. Your goal in improving your communication skills is to be able to positively influence your team.
People only do things for their own internal drivers. You can be a jerk, be demanding, talk down to your team, and they will comply. For a while. Then you’ll see the energy drain out of them.
Some will take it and become like the walking dead in your restaurant, having no impact on the guest experience, and then soon your guests will find a place that makes them feel better than the experience you are providing. Remember that if is was just about food and beverage, people could eat and drink at home and save money. They come for the experience you and your team create.
8. Seek to understand yourself first, then others.
There are a lot of behavioral surveys available on the market to get better insight into your key traits. The ProScan Survey and DiSC are two very popular ones used by businesses to understand the behavioral matrix that makes us all so unique. Know your strengths. Know how you prefer communicating. Know how you deal with stress. These things are all available by taking a test and letting a qualified facilitator explain them to you.
Most managers are what is known as one-dimensional. They communicate only through the way they are. That’s great if everyone one your team is wired the same way. However, restaurant teams are diversely staffed by a wide range of personalities. When you understand that, you take the first step to becoming a true badass leader.
When you understand yourself and understand others, you can adjust your communication to a style that resonates with them. Most people are only aware of themselves and uncovering how others process information is key to true leadership.