I’m a big fan of the hit TV show Bar Rescue on Spike. I have faithfully watched every episode since the beginning. But I didn’t start watching because I thought there would be some great examples of poor leadership. I started watching because I was intrigued by the preview clips and some guy yelling at bar owners.
That guy is entrepreneur and business consultant, Jon Taffer. With nearly 35 years in the industry he has probably seen it all. And his leadership traits shine through in each episode.
Here are some memorable quotes from the show that resonated with me:
“Your attitude affects your team.”
If you can’t keep your cool, crumble under pressure, or throw a fit, how do you expect the team to act, especially when you’re not around?
“They need to be led, they want someone to bring them down the path to success.”
Don’t assume that because you’ve ensured the team is trained in their job description that you can just walk away and expect everything to run smoothly. Jon is right, they need to be led. Be present, be interruptable, and ask questions.
“Their success is ultimately up to you.”
A lot of folks will see this the other way around, that it’s the team’s job to make you look good. That is simply just not true, and Chris LoCurto emphasizes it all the time, “As a leader, it is your job to make your team successful, not the other way around.” It is the leader’s responsibility to ensure the team is proficient.
“A good leader knows how to pull a team together.”
This is the very essence of leadership, being able to influence a person or a group of people to target a common goal, and to get to the destination together.
“Listen to your team, they’re filled with great ideas, and you’ve got to pull them together.”
Ray Kroc said it first, “None of is is as good as all of us.” The leader of the team, believe it or not, doesn’t always have all the answers, or the right answers. That’s the power of a good team, everyone collaborates and communicates. The leader’s job is to pull them together and foster cohesiveness.
“You will never succeed until you believe in your staff”
Believe in them. Bring them up, and then let them go. I promise, if you let go of the reins they will still deliver. It is likely that they share the same passion as you for success. And when that success comes, don’t forget to recognize it. You’ll earn the trust you deserve with proper gratitude and recognition.
Here are a few things I picked up on additionally:
Blind or blaming? A lot of times the owner of the establishment Jon visited was not present or barely came around. They weren’t approachable and had no way for the managers or employees to communicate. Supplies are running low or empty, they needed additional training or support, or just weren’t sure what kind of power they had to make choices in the owner’s absence. When the owner had returned, and discovered these problems, accountability went out the window and the employees were the first to receive the blame.
Are the teams actions that affect the business from the leader’s lack of presence? On several occasions, when the owner or manager went missing, the team members would act out, doing things they would likely never do if he/she were actually there. Those actions are most likely opposite of the intended culture of the establishment. But because the owner or manager did not actively participate with the rest of the team, the culture degraded.
Take responsibility/accountability. If the team was failing, the owner put blame on the team. Most of the time, if he/she would have been more aware, the problems that ultimately led to the failure could have been thwarted. You must be able to analyze yourself. Am I doing everything possible to make sure they are successful?
Don’t let your ego get in the way of your leadership. “Let go my ego!” (pun intended). In a leadership position, it’s easy to think you have to come off as all knowing and mistake free. Mistakes happen. You’ll make bad decisions. Own it, and learn from it. Then move on.
Did you have any takeaways from watching the show? Let’s disqus it!