Many of us dream of one day having a Ferrari, or some similar luxury. To get to that place would require tremendous effort, earning, saving, and borrowing. Now imagine that you have arrived at that day when you drive your Ferrari home. You would be so proud. Each time you got behind the wheel you would feel good and think pleasant thoughts. Now imagine, one day you had a very important meeting to get to, you are running late and your Ferrari won’t start no matter what you do. Would you, out of frustration, take
an axe and plant it in the hood? Obviously not. Because it simply would not be in your best personal interest to damage something you valued so much. Many employers will take time to interview many people to find the right candidate for a job, ensure the employee gets the right training, and spend time to mentor them. This is all very costly in both time and money. Then the day arrives when the employer is depending on the performance of that employee for something important and he or she fails to deliver. Too often that situation ends with the employee feeling badly about him/ herself, or if I may use the analogy, they get an “axe in their hood.” Essentially, that employer has brought damage to one of his most valuable assets. Often
the employer fails to see that this behavior damages the employee and the business at the same time. An effective leader understands that they are only as good as the people they lead. If they damage their people then they are
damaging their business. Treating them respectfully, and recognizing and developing their unique talents, will have the positive effect of developing their employees and their business.
My name is Larry Garber, and I am honored to McDonald’s Owner/Operator for the past 24 years, currently operating seven locations in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. I credit a large part of my success to the high
caliber of Managers who work for me. My team of Managers are sharp, talented, intelligent, and committed to the business. This did not happen by luck. The basic leadership philosophy that I employ is recognizing that
everyone has a special skill. This skill is often hidden or locked away. It is my job to find it, unlock it, and help it flourish. All my employees know this about me. They know that I believe in them. They know that I am constantly
looking for their strengths and eager to help them develop and grow. Because of this, they do not want to disappoint me, and they rarely do.
When I hear other employers say “You can’t find good people anymore,” what I hear them saying is “I can’t find the good in people anymore.”
My employees’ special skills are my most valuable asset and I make it a point to seek out and use their opinions and ideas on as many decisions as possible. As a result, our decisions are largely collaborative with all parties taking ownership of the outcome.Obviously it is not all roses and sometimes
my employees will come short of a goal or make a poor decision. I call this type of job performance “on-the-job- training.” These failings are the special growth moments a person goes through on their way to the next level of success. Few people learn to ride a bike without falling. If we all feared the fall then few of us would come to experience the joy and success of riding a bike. Failure is often a sign that someone is trying something new. If we can’t view failure as on-the-job-training then employees will fear failure and
therefore shy away from trying new things that could potentially be
very beneficial or even profitable for the business.
When an employer is having a conversation with an employee who has failed at their task, it is a moment of truth for the employee/employer relationship. What happens in this situation will be remembered by the employee for a long time. Handled correctly, with the employer communicating his/her continued confidence in the employee’s abilities, an employer can gain not only tremendous loyalty from their employee, but real commitment from them to learn and grow from the mistake. Handled poorly, by saying things that
encourage a person to feel badly about themselves, the experience becomes de-motivating and often the beginning of resentment and more decline in performance. I teach that “it’s not about the mistake that’s done, it’s about what the person does next to learn and grow from the mistake.” When an employee fails, an effective leader must show the employee how to make the mistake a stepping stone to success and encourage them on that path.
These are just a few of the basic approaches I use to encourage good employees to tap into their greatness. The bottom line is that I truly do try to treat my employees like a valued Ferrari. I try to see their greatness, potential, and special strengths. I have found that on the occasions that I do this successfully, my reward is that I get to see my employees grow to be the “Ferrari” of their field.
This is the only kind of Ferrari that brings me pride and pleasure.
Larry Garber is a McDonald’s Owner/Operator for the past 24
years, currently operating seven locations in Vaughan, Ontario,