When I accepted my current position with Chick-fil-A Bristol, I accepted it on the terms that I would not have to work in the store. My role was purely an executive one, overseeing and directing our marketing and sales growth. As we embarked on our journey of culture change and leadership realignment, my role also began to shift, and I found myself being pulled more and more into the “operations” of the store (i.e. working in the store serving customers alongside my team). Eventually, my boss, the Owner/Operator, decided that he preferred having all Directors in the operations 40-50% of the time. Initially, I fought this directive and even considered resigning. “This is not what I signed on for!” I kept telling myself.
You see, I have worked in the service industry serving customers for 20 years – whether in entertainment, retail, or fitness. Now I am venturing into the food industry. With this much experience under my belt, I am ready for the “next level” – where I can merely advise and consult with a team versus serving alongside them in an operational capacity. But as I began to let go of my ego and acquiesce to this new directive, I began to see the tremendous opportunity I had to coach and develop our new and young leaders “in the moment” of the day-to-day operations, which is where we need feedback the most.
Today, I had many wonderful opportunities to coach and develop several on our team – leaders and team members alike. I had a great deal of constructive feedback for one particular young leader. Not only did she take it like a champ, but she then sent a public shout out to me on our leadership GroupMe group, thanking me for leading by example and setting folks for success before I left for the day. You can’t buy moments like that. Not only did it warm my heart for the public shout out, but I love seeing these young folks growing into such great leaders! So today, I am thankful for the humbling experiences God sends our way, and the great lessons we can learn from those experiences once we get our ego out of the way!