Starbucks is not my jam. More power to you if it’s your thing - but I prefer mom & pop shops (or mom & mom - I don’t discriminate). However due to a rainstorm and a woefully understocked neighborhood hardware store - I found myself trucking out to a big box home improvement store the other day. No bigs, except that the only coffee shop/cafe/restaurant around where I wouldn’t be seen as a total dick for whipping out my laptop to get shit done was a Starbucks. Everything else was closed.
I toddled in and let out an audible sigh followed by a low, toddler-like whine.
It was raining out. It was mid-day. The place was PACKED. As I stared at the board of ridiculous sugar-bombs and got ready to order my black coffee, I realized that people were packing up. And leaving. Like a lot of them. Why? The employees.
The employees were hitting the end of their stupidly early morning shift and they were lagging. One of them put thrash metal on the speakers. Seriously. No apologies. And the shit was loud! But the employees were laughing, dancing and having a 100% bonding moment. They were in job happiness mode: full on. And I got a seat. The good cushy one!
Do I like thrash metal? Um no. Hard pass - but I do love a place run by happy, fun loving employees. And I like the good chair. Don’t judge me.
What else do I love? Good leaders. And I just met one.
The manager was on break (which may explain the music) but one of the rank & file noticed the mass exodus and asked the other employees if mayyyyybe they should switch the music. They got huffy - she got brilliant. She polled us. The us that hadn’t left. She asked if we were ok with the music staying and pumping up the crew so they could pump us up with caffeine or if we preferred the folk music they were supposed to be playing. Almost unanimous vote? THRASH ON \m/
So what exactly makes a good leader I hear you asking? I've talked about this before over here, so head on over to get the whole scoop, but to recap the quick and dirty, good leaders:
- Set goals and standards so that team members understand them
- Are approachable, accessible and not assholes
- Ask their team for input on their work
- In turn, offer constructive criticism when they comment on work
- Allow for honesty
- Work with people better than them
- Are proactive about helping their team out
- Take the credit AND the blame
- Work with people’s strengths
- Don't behave like a dick
So why do I care if you're a good leader or not? Because truly good leaders see career growth on a whole other level. They foster the loyalty and respect of coworkers which leads to being crazy effective on the job and easily recommended for promotions and other opportunities - and that's what we're all about right?
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