It’s Not Really About You After All

The push and pull of local, area and home office leadership can take many forms. Some leaders are authoritarian, barking commands. It’s a style that works extremely well in the military. That top down hierarchy is found in many  companies.

Some leadership styles are collaborative, bringing everyone together so they “buy into” the program. However, this style, while harmonious, tends to drive solutions to “the lowest common denominator” to keep everyone happy. However, what pleases everyone may not be the best direction available, just the least contentious.

There’s a Better Way to Lead

It’s called Servant Leadership. It’s especially relevant to companies that deliver a service such as Hwy 55 vs a product sold on shelves in a store or online. The basic premise is if we each understand who our internal and external “customers” are and serve them well, then the business will be well rewarded.

Servant Leadership guides our management philosophy at Hwy 55.

Here’s the Idea Behind Servant Leadership

A traditional organization structure is built from the top down as illustrated below. Orders flow from the top and are implemented at the bottom. Where are the guests? At the bottom.

Everyone looks upward instead of at the guest. If we asked everyone, “Who are you trying to serve?” how many would say, “my supervisor” or “my owner” or “the boss?” If this is the case, who pays attention to our guests when almost everyone is looking up?

So what happens to associates and their behavior when the priorities are reversed? Every system, process, procedure and instruction can now be viewed through a two prisms: create a great work environment for our associates and in turn they’ll create a great experience for our guests.

Servant leadership in practice is quite simple. If Hwy 55 takes care of our associates who cook, serve and deal with guests then they in turn will take outstanding care of our customers. That’s how we roll at Hwy 55.

In our Servant Leadership model, associates now see our guests as the most important group to serve. “Management” in turn sees our associates as their most important group to serve.

There are hundreds of details surrounding Servant Leadership training. But if the concept appeals to you, then you’d fit in well at Hwy 55. We’ll teach you the rest.