Where is the Leadership?

leadership rail


While working on a pharmacy assignment in a small rural city, I keep watching the development of a new shopping center.  Slowly more businesses are opening their doors.  Only one restaurant thus far, a fast food burger chain erected a new eatery.

It has been a struggle to find a place that offers a nice grilled chicken salad in this town.  I am trying to eat healthily and do not need to wolf down burgers, fries, sodas, and milkshakes.  I am glad that fast food establishments are now offering healthy choices.

Walking in, I could smell the evidence of recent construction; there was the scent of lumber and fresh paint.  There were so many employees, at least fifteen milling around behind the counter and in the dining area.  The cashier was at the register where I walked up to place my order.  She gave me a faint smile and asked what I would like.  I wanted a grilled chicken salad and a strawberry shake.  I threw her into a tizzy; she did not know how to enter the salad on the register.  Minutes had passed before a shift leader got my order squared away.

So many workers, but not doing anything, just standing and lingering.  There was no direction, initiative, or concern for the needs of patrons or their employment.  Only one young man was seemingly doing it all.  Grilling the burgers, tending to the fries, and sacking the orders.  He then presented the completed orders to his hungry patrons.

One associate was whining out on the floor in front of the beverage station that her break was nearly over, and she was waiting on her employee meal.  Another young man wearing cutoff shorts and a tank top was barking out orders from the sideline.  Obviously, he was an employee off the clock confusing everyone by his actions.  Then, what I guess was the manager, a young woman carrying a clipboard loaded with papers comes to the man doing it all.  She was hounding him for information at 5:30 PM, a true rush hour for serving burgers.

My order was called out and handed to me by the man doing it all.  He gave a warm thank you, but I had no strawberry shake, just the salad without a salad dressing.  He then apologized and made my shake; I was glad I hadn’t ordered fries and a burger, they would have gotten cold.

fastfood burgerNow that I had my dinner I could not find a clean table to sit at and eat my salad.  Finally, there was one right by the door that was clean.  I was frustrated with my experience.  And having been a manager this whole scenario was terribly unsettling to me.  I am not inclined to go back and witness this total lack of employee engagement and dismal leadership.

Successful companies have leadership that teaches leaders and thus provides excellent training and development of their employees.  Employees know their product or service, show initiative, doing their task efficiently, and excel in customer service.

leadership rail