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The soft skills

When an employee quits, they don't quit the company, they quit their boss. An independent survey showed that half the people quit their previous employer because of problems with their immediate supervisor. No surprise.

A restaurant manager's job isn't easy. Daily demands and responsibilities are numerous and difficult. That's why we tend to make managers of the people who performed the technical aspects of their previous position well. How many servers are promoted to a management position because they receive no guest complaints, their sales are high, they show up for all of their shifts, and you can give them the biggest and busiest sections?

We hand them a new title, a new pay scale and teach them the operational ropes along the way. In another Trade Secret, "Go or grow," we discussed the importance of a management development program that teaches managers the technical skills they need to succeed.

But how about training in the art and science of managing people? To grow a crop of truly successful managers it's important to teach and develop soft skills. I like to think of it as a Leadership Development Program.

Developing good leaders will benefit your operation in ways far beyond lower food cost, improved employee retention, and higher check averages. Good leaders:

  • Enjoy being with people
  • Lead by example
  • Inspire people to perform better than they thought they could
  • Create confidence with guests
  • Are maniacs about quality
  • Have the guts to get "it" done
  • Have equal proportions heart and brain
  • Will challenge everyone, including you, to do better

And that last one is probably the most important. Don't be afraid to create and inspire leaders who will challenge you to better yourself, and your business. Begin your own Leadership Development Program today. It can be low key or ambitious. Structured or loose. Just start. And don't be surprised if you learn a little along the way yourself.

Keep reading for some leadership development tools and resources to begin developing the soft skills.

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