Secrets of the Big Cheese


You’re the boss. The big cheese. The top dog running the show. You speak, employees jump. End of story, right?

If only it were that simple. If only employees would do what they’re told. If only they’d take the initiative to get things done. If only you didn’t have to push, push, push for every little improvement. Well, add another “if only” to the list. If only you’d stop pushing and start leading, your restaurant operation would be well on its way to unlimited success. “You can’t push a string,” Dwight D. Eisenhower once said. He was right on the money.

Leaders are more than managers. Instead of pushing from behind, they’re out front leading the charge. They set goals for themselves as well as employees, continually raising the performance bar, securing ongoing improvement. Leaders are confident decision makers, risk takers and problem solvers. They teach, motivate, coach and reward. They give employees reasons to follow.

Action Plan for New Restaurant Managers

During the first 30 days of a new management position, the things you say and do, the tests of will you encounter, the decisions you make and the bonds you develop all will contribute to how quickly your employees follow your lead. It’s critical to make every day count, which is why your plan to leadership success should be broken down into daily leadership activities and a weekly action plan like this one:

Week One

  • Be Approachable
  • Get Organized

Week Two

  • Implement Change
  • Make Sound Decisions

Week Three

  • Surround Yourself With Great People
  • Be a Great Counselor

Week Four

  • Build Your Team
  • Make Things Happen

Remember, your followers make you a leader, not the other way around. Although your title as manager carries a certain level of distinction and authority, it no longer supersedes the need to earn respect and establish credibility with your employees.

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