Entries by Trevor Lee

,

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LEADERSHIP AT APPLEBEES

One of my first jobs was as a waiter at Applebees. In the small town where I grew up, Applebees was the height of fine dining–so being a waiter there was the big show. I didn’t know it at the time, but that Applebees had one of the strongest workplace cultures I’ve experienced in over 20 years (okay, 25, but who’s counting?). People showed up to work with a good attitude. We helped each other out and didn’t just focus on our own tables. We worked really hard and had consistently good feedback from customers. We were open about issues and got them resolved.

As with any workplace, there were a variety of factors that came together to produce a healthy and strong culture, but there’s one that stands out in my mind to this day. Encouragement.

, ,

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS STUCK

I hear it all the time. “How’s your business?” “I dunno man, we’ve just kinda plateaued.” Okay. “How’s your marriage?” “We’re really in a rut right now.” Hmm. “How’s that new project/initiative coming along?” “It’s pretty much stalled at this point.” Sure. The underlying assumption is that if things aren’t progressing, moving forward, or getting better then they are simply at a standstill, as good or bad as they were the day things quit moving forward. As if static is even an option. It’s not.

If your business isn’t growing, getting healthier, getting better then it is moving in the opposite direction. If your marriage isn’t getting stronger, more vibrant, with more intimacy then it is trending the other way. If that new project or initiative isn’t getting any traction then it is on its way to the junk pile. There’s no easy way to say it, if your business/marriage/initiative isn’t getting better it is getting worse.