Posts Tagged ‘positive attitude’

How to get ahead at your company

What do you do if you cannot seem to get ahead in your company? There are many avenues one can take. The following are a few approaches folks use:

  • Some people just plow ahead and incorrectly assume that stress and aggravation come with the territory. Although certainly some jobs are more stressful than others it is often how we process the challenges that dictates how well we deal with them and if we ever overcome them.
  • When someone cannot continue to simply keep pushing ahead they default to the next line of defense which is the good old it is everybody else. These folks convince themselves that their managers, co workers, suppliers, and customers are somehow out to get them and would love nothing more than to see them fail. This approach requires the victims to have an obscene focus on themselves. These players have a great deal of time invested in seeing themselves as the straw that stirs the drink. This is why it is so difficult to get them to see the light.
  • The third option is when the challenged just throw in the proverbial towel. Often these people just go through the motions and really do not apply themselves to achieving any real results. The larger the company the more of these you will find. They tend to do just enough to keep things rolling. They do not want to bring attention to themselves. Of course they still have the audacity to continue to pick up a paycheck that is based on work that they do not actually consistently perform.
  • If someone does not fit in one of the three areas we described above they may actually be ready to choose the best option of all. Anybody can be down when things are not going well. It is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on how bad things are. We have all done it. The achievers leverage challenging times to distance themselves from the competition.
  • A positive attitude can be very attractive to management when they are looking at options regarding staffing. Know that difficult times are a part of doing business. The challenges will not define you but your response certainly will. Put the decision makers in the position to help you get ahead. Great managers are always in need of more people to set up to the plate. Be one of those people! It starts with you.

    Always be looking for your James

    The following is a true story about a great employee and the manager who took a chance.

    The manager had worked in the restaurant industry for several years with one of the leading companies in the casual dining segment. The manager’s name is Jack. The employee in our story is James. Anyone who has worked in the restaurant business can attest to the fact that it is crazy, hectic, and not for the faint of heart. It has been suggested by some that everyone should be required to pull a tour in this business for a little instant perspective. Those who have not ventured into this arena really have no idea how tough it is.

    Jack was a kitchen manager at a particular location and he put in many hours to insure that things were taken care of. He ordered supplies, oversaw staff, and was directly responsible for the total production of the back of the house. He moved a mile a minute but he loved it.When the lunch and/or dinner rush comes in a restaurant it is managed chaos at its best and a train wreck of epic proportions at its worst. Jack’s goal everyday was to be on the side of chaos as much as possible. He regularly landed somewhere in the middle. It is the nature of the beast.

    In Jack’s kitchen the folks on the cook’s line held his sanity in their hands. Theirs was a tough job. They had to cook, set up, and coordinate dozens of orders simultaneously. The remaining position in the lineup was that of the dishwasher. In addition to handling the dish section this guy was expected to be available to assist the cooks with stocking, ect. It was nonstop and fairly thankless to boot. A person in this job that could keep up consistently was rare. Once again managed chaos at best.

    One day Jack was moving through the kitchen as he did on most days – on autopilot. He was so good at his job that he seemed to have a sense of where he needed to be and who he needed to help. He noticed James helping the cook nearest the dish station. It was the height of the lunch rush. As soon as Jack saw James out of position he immediately looked to the dish area expecting a mess. It was organized and caught up! Jack did a double take. It never looked that good during a rush even with someone there the whole time. He was speechless.

    Jack decided to keep his eye on James. He watched him work and noticed that he was able to do a great deal of the work of the cooks. Jack asked him how he learned all of these tasks. James said he just paid attention. Jack thought to himself that people who actually spent their whole shift in these positions didn’t pick it up like James.Jack made the obvious decision to put James into a cook’s position immediately. He continued to learn all of the positions and became quite proficient. In no time Jack knew it was time to train James in the production leader position. This was literally the straw that stirred the drink for in this position James would set the pace and would determine if the shift were a success. He was up for the challenge.

    It seems like a simple formula. Take a motivated employee and let him grow and prove himself. If it were only that simple. The reality is that Jack had a time trying to convince the rest of the management staff that James was more than ready. The problem was that the other managers on staff could only see James as a dishwasher. They figured he was not hired as a cook because he did not have any experience. They certainly did not want an inexperienced dishwasher running the show on the shifts they were responsible for. The General Manager of the place didn’t have Jack’s back either. It was quite a battle over a couple of days.

    Jack knew he was right. Sometimes people told him was a hard head and that he didn’t always want to work with the team. The reality was he didn’t want to give in to limited thinking and had no issues with telling them so when the opportunity presented itself. He found himself outside the circle at times but figured that no one could dispute results and he was certainly providing those on a regular basis. As a matter of fact he did his job so well it actually made their job easier. It was time to put an end to all the nonsense.

    You may be wondering what happened to James. Did he ever get his shot? Did those managers ever give in? The answer to both of those questions is yes. Here is how James became the employee that made this story worth telling.Jack decided to make a schedule with the regular folks on it. James was on the dish station. Everything looked normal to the other managers. Jack was a little sly however. The night it happened was a Thursday. It was one of the busier nights for this particular location. Jack made arrangements to have people show up for the shift that were only trained in certain positions and would not be able to be moved into the leader spot. James was told to take the leader position. Jack had made sure that the other managers were gone for the day. The night manager had been very negative regarding James having an opportunity to assume this most important role. Typically Jack would have been staying around for a while until he felt they had gotten through the bulk of the rush and then he would have left. Before the night manager knew what hit him he was stuck with James in the leader position and Jack was nowhere to be found. Jack went home and did not answer the phone. He was pretty confident in James and his ability to pull this off. He would later admit to being a little uneasy for the rest of the night.

    The next morning Jack was at work bright and early when the phone rang and he immediately thought it was not good. No one ever called that early in the morning. When Jack answered he heard the night manager on the other end. In an instant he realized that the manager had just left a few hours prior. He braced himself. What he heard next he has never forgotten and never will. The night manager said “I’m sorry you were right. James was great. It was the best shift I’ve had in a long time. I don’t know why I couldn’t see it. I’m glad you made it happen.”

    Jack was shocked but happy. The success with James has informed every staffing decision he has made in the years since. If there is ever a question regarding what someone is capable of he reflects back to James and how he proved that people often will rise to the level of your expectations and support.

    You might wonder why James and his success had such a lasting effect on Jack. Here is why. James went on to be a trainer with that company and eventually became a corporate trainer that was sent out into the field for new store openings because he quickly came to be recognized as the best and for having a winning, can do attitude. This all started from an entry level dishwasher position. Ask yourself if you have anyone like James on your team. If you do would you recognize them? Would you support them? Would you do whatever you had to do so they could be successful? If you would then you are well on your way to being a smart manager.