When I first became a restaurant manager (which was over 10 years ago) I made a lot of mistakes.
I handled guest issues the wrong way, I was not good with employee relations, and I was not a very savvy financial operator. Overall, I was a hard working rookie.
Over the years, I have gotten much better. I learn from mistakes, and I really try hard to limit them today.
I also took a lot of management courses to get better, most of them paid and administered by the companies I worked for.
A while back, I was in Atlanta to learn about leadership and motivation. It was a classroom setting, and the CEO of the company was talking to all of us. All of the sudden he looked right at me and posed this question:
OK young man. There is a pig and a duck on the farm. The duck is complaining.
“Quack, we are all going to die. This farm sucks! The cow is rude, I am going to be Thanksgiving dinner!”
The pig looks at at the duck and says
“I do not know why you are complaining, I am committed!”
So young man, what are you? The pig or the duck?
I just stared at him.
After 30 seconds of silence, the CEO said:
“You should have said the pig, because he is committed. We need commitment here.”
I still stared.
He kept on giving his speech. I did not pay any attention to it. I was still thinking about that story.
It made no sense to me. Although I was a rookie, I was very committed to my job. I put forth a lot of effort even if the talent was not there yet.
Also, why would I want to be a pig. I was called a pig my whole life. I was around 320 pounds at the time, did he really think I wanted to admit to the group that I was a pig!
I did not want to be the duck either. I have never been a complainer. I get frustrated at times, but I solve the issue before I say anything about it. I have always been that way.
While other “guest” persons were going to the podium to speak, I kept on thinking of that story.
It consumed me.
Things consume me. I have a one-track mind.
At the end of the seminar, I went up to the CEO of the company and said:
“Hi, sir, you asked me if I was the pig or the duck, and I felt like you did not give me the best option. I want to be the farmer, because I have control of what is going on at my farm and I am not going to die.”
The CEO looked at me and said:
“I think you read into that a little to much. It was just a fun story about commitment to your job.I do like your spirit though, I can honestly say no one has ever given me another option before.”
That spirit has helped me do well at my job. The commitment has helped me lose over 200 pounds!