Two Lessons from my Personal Hell II: Deliver Superior Performance

8 Apr

Those who read the last post know that I have been going through a personal hell of having worked the past month straight without a day off.

Such is the problem of management.

The two lessons I have gleaned from it, however, are invaluable.  The first lesson is to remain spiritually, emotionally, and physically in shape for what might be a grueling experience.

The second lesson we will discuss today is that you still must deliver quality service, no matter what.

When you take over a new leadership role, especially if you’re not the top dog, you should become intimately familiar with the philosophy of your company.

Burger King promises that the customer will have it his way.

Wendy’s prides itself on quality.

McDonald’s is a production line — delivering prepackaged food at unmatched speed.

Fast food is almost always short staffed, as I am right now.

But guess what?

That’s no excuse for not delivering what your company says it will deliver.  Do not cut corners just because you’re short staffed.

I think a great way to look at this is to set a goal for yourself.  Don’t let anyone that you don’t directly tell find out you are short staffed.  Don’t even let them suspect you’re short staffed.

This means a lot of extra work for you.  This means a lot of delegation to your staff; they will have to learn to juggle multiple jobs effectively.  You will have to be their cheerleader.  And you will have to reward them and celebrate victories or other milestones.

But let your short staffing be as brief as possible.  Plan to solve the situation as quickly as possible, because you will burn out and your team will burn out quickly.

Once the short staff issue is solved, you can celebrate in your own way.  Today, for example, I took my first day off in over a month.  It felt great, and I have many more to look forward to in the near future.  Things are rapidly beginning to look up, and those are the things you and your team should celebrate.

Nobody wants to hear that you can’t do something because of short staffing.

But everyone is wowed when they find out you were short staffed but never batted an eyelash; all of the work still got done and all of the customers left the building happy.

That’s leadership.

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