There is no denying it, if you want success in your restaurant, you must have great leaders. This will make all the difference in reaching your ultimate long-term goals.
Here are 9 essential skills or traits leaders should bring to the table.
1. Communicate Effectively.
Effective communication can be tricky.
It requires practice, patience, and prioritizing – all of which take time and energy. But when leaders prioritize its importance, amazing results abound. Whether it’s simply verbally thanking your hostess for staying late last night or personally checking in with each staff member about the most recent menu change, the positive transformation that often takes place is astounding.
2. Solve Problems.
Great leaders are great problem-solvers.
They remain impartial, listen to all sides of a story, and have the confidence to take action when needed. While it’s crucial to identify the actual problems that might be hindering your restaurant’s success, it really has to go beyond that. Leaders know that enlisting the help of staff and working together to solve a problem is much more effective than doing so solo.
3. Make Decisions.
Leaders are decision-makers.
Sometimes those may be quick, easy decisions and sometimes a lengthy look at the pros and cons is necessary. But keeping a “can do” attitude can make a world of difference. By focusing on the end goal, and not getting bogged down by the elements out of your control, leaders find that the world really is their oyster.
4. Teach and Coach.
Leaders’ roles are really two-fold: teaching and coaching.
You can give a new chef your recipes and have him learn by trial and error, with no additional coaching. The chef will probably eventually learn the ins and outs of the dishes, but it will be a rough, frustrating process. Or a leader can provide the recipes and walk the chef through each dish. Plus, be available for questions and feedback going forward. The benefits to this approach are many; mutual trust and respect are fostered between leaders and staff, and staff are given the tools and information they need to be successful.
5. Improve Every day.
Complacency threatens every leader.
If you opt out of learning, it seriously stunts your ability to grow. Successful leaders set an example by seeking to improve when and where they can. They acknowledge their successes, of course, but find their time is better spent focusing on how they can be better. By setting the example, that mindset can trickle-down to your staff as well.
6. Take Risks.
Leaders know that with risk comes reward.
Learn to take risks. Make mistakes. Fail early and often. If you don’t take big risks, you certainly can’t win big.
7. Build Great Relationships.
Leaders have the opportunity to make each interaction count.
Every day brings the chance to build bigger, better, and stronger relationships. When leaders truly care about their staff and make an effort to express that, it sends a powerful, positive message. And one that won’t quickly be forgotten either.
8. Adapt Their Style.
A true leader adapts their style as needed, whether that’s to a person or a situation.
Leaders are able to:
- See perspectives other than their own
- Master reading people as well as a scenario
- Quickly recognize that a different style is needed and act accordingly
9. Lead by Example.
Successful leaders are not afraid to get in the trenches and work side by side with their staff. In fact, that’s the best tactic to use. By committing to a hands-on approach, leaders gain credibility and respect. They may work various positions within the restaurant from time to time, so they can see first-hand what their team is going through. It also provides an opportunity to influence and connect on a deeper level with your staff.
Influence and Inspire Others
The traits highlighted here are important for the leaders in your restaurant. But perhaps the greatest opportunity for a leader to lead effectively lies in their ability to inspire those around them. Luckily, each of the traits offers the chance to influence and inspire, both those in your circle and beyond.