I went to my local McDonalds recently and was encouraged by an unexpected site. I saw the owner (not the manager) out in the parking lot with a broom, sweeping up trash. I commented, "Now that's leadership at its finest." She just chuckled.
She's a real neat lady. I met her a few years ago as I happened to be there one day eating and she was out in the dining area, get this, wiping down tables. (I think she has a handle on Servant Leadership.) In that exchange, I commented on how hard her team was always working. She wasted no time letting me know what she thought about her team.
In just a few minutes of conversation it was very clear that she understood the value of a good team. She shared how hard they worked every day. As I listened, I noticed something that I think is often overlooked in the current leadership culture...appreciation.
As she shared about her team, I noticed a consistent theme in her examples: they work hard because she acknowledges their work. She shared how she doesn't have "part-time" team members. They are all full-time. Which means more opportunity on the tasks needed for good service and more time with team members.
She talked about how she allows them time to go to the doctor without any penalty, even providing transportation for some. She goes out of her way to make them successful in their individual tasks. And yes, she even serves them by taking time to wipe tables and sweep the parking lot. Who wouldn't be loyal to that kind of leader?
Patrick Lencioni wrote a book by the title, "Three Signs of a Miserable Job." (See the link below.) The title leads you to think its for the person who believes he or she has THE miserable job. But in fact, its a management/leadership book written to spotlight the actions leaders take that lead to a miserable job. I can tell you what they are without ruining the book:
1) Ananimoty: Not being recognized by those who lead
2) Irrelevance: Not feeling as if what you do matters
3) Immesurement: Not knowing if you're doing a good job.
It's well worth the time to read. It will make you evaluate your own leadership style and consider if you need to make changes. Another resource is a blog developed by Micheal Hyatt. Here is a link to a post he put out there from a guest blogger about appreciation. She says it well here...
So...how's your appreciation going? Here's the Lencioni book I referenced (click on the image):