Specialty Food Magazine

JAN-FEB 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 69 of 159

THE EDUCATED RETAILERS' GUIDE Sticking to your own standards is not neurosurgery. If you put yourself on the schedule, then you should show up on time. the same point, someone once shared with me a saying from the Persian philosopher Rumi that went something like this: "When you're drunk and near a cliff, sit down." Or you can choose to lash out. If you start firing off decisions when your anger is building, you may feel better, but probably only for the first five minutes. After that, you're guaranteed to get your- self—and worse, your firm—into trouble. I haven't done it often, but every time I have, I spend days—and on occasion weeks or months—making it all right again. If you have nothing better to do with your time and want to bring some emotional sado- masochism into your management work, go for it, but it isn't effective in the long run. 13. BE APPRECIATIVE Better leaders say thanks. They say it with feeling and they say it a lot. When you are vocal in your appreciation, both in the moment and when it's least expected, you are going in the right direction. If you aren't already doing this, you can start by just say- ing thanks at the end of every shift. You can follow that by thanking people—individu- ally and in groups—for their achievements, however great or small. Thank customers, suppliers, your IT staff and your tech team. The upside is enormous and it means some- thing to people to know you notice. Or you can act as if you don't care what people do for you. But be warned, when we at the top don't act appreciative, the little things stop getting done. Even worse, the attitude we bring will Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 2605 68 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com be handed on down the line. New people soon learn that no one appreciates what they do, which means the drive to do well goes down every day. This approach is particu- larly positive for employees who are already predisposed to feeling like victims. They already always feel unappreciated—and in this case, they are. 14. LIVE THE STANDARDS YOU SET If you're going to make rules for everyone else, the whole thing will work way better if you follow them too. Sticking to your own standards is not neurosurgery. For example, if you put yourself on the schedule, then you should show up on time. It's difficult to be tough on frontline staff for not showing up on time when you don't expect the same from yourself. Or ignore your own systems. I've slipped on this myself many times. It's never a great move to get a guideline going, and then turn right around and act as if it didn't exist. The old "do as I say, not as I do" line is a difficult one to lead with if you're trying to accomplish anything other than alienating everyone on your staff. 15. SHARE INFORMATION LAVISHLY Sharing information effectively and often can only help everyone you hire to do a bet- ter job. No one can make good decisions without good information. People need to know what you want, why you want it, where you're going, what you believe and what you're thinking if you want them to do well. If you have a good reason not to share certain information (privacy or respect for those involved, for example), take time to explain that. Or you can keep secrets, and make sure everyone knows you're keeping them. Friends have told me that the management team in their

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