Take the Stairs ~ a MINDSET shift

One of the best books I’ve read in recent years is a book by Rory Vaden called Take the Stairs (it also inspired Be the Buffalo ~ chapter 1).  It is all about MINDSET.

“Take the Stairs” is a mindset shift from the easy, shortcut, lazy, average, participation trophy, yearning to win the lottery mentality, to a self-discipline mindset that is not about doing things the hardest way  possible, but rather, it’s about doing the hardest things as soon as possible.  We tend to, and our culture certainly does, look for the escalator or elevator to the top.  That’s the wrong mindset.  Last Wednesday, I walked from the terminal to the C concourse @ ATL (2676 steps), while I watched thousands jump on and off of the tram.  Were they smarter? Depends on your mindset.  I got in a little more than a mile walk, got my heart rate up and smiled at other walkers along the way.  I arrived at my destination happier, healthier and better prepared to write this to you.

Where did you park your car this morning when you arrived at work?  Did you park at the farthest spot from the front door saving the best spot on the parking lot for the elderly, the expectant mother, or simply put, the guest?  Parking in the back would have taken you a few steps more, maybe two minutes longer, but it would have changed your mindset.

Did you make your bed this morning? Navy Admiral William McRaven said “If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed.  If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.  It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.  And by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed.  Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter.  If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.  And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made, that you made, and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.” 

What are you willing to do that the average person is not willing to do?  The answer to that question, friends, is, quite possibly, the difference between an ordinary or extraordinary life.  It’s the noticeable difference between good and great.  It’s the distinguishing characteristic between an average dining experience by a guest in your restaurant and a “story worth telling” experience.  Take the stairs is the “please”, the “thank you” and the “my pleasure” at Chick-Fil-A.  It’s opening the front door for every guest.  It’s a mindset.

Did you know that 95% of all of the books purchased are never completely read?  That 70% of the books purchased are never even opened?  Did you read the book you were given on February 4th?  We want the cliff notes version.  Well, this is not the book summary.  You need to go purchase, read and apply the principles of this book.  Seriously.  Over the next four weeks, read 2 chapters a week.  Done.  And when you do, email me.  It will be worth it.

Zig Zigler said, “In life, what you really want will never come easy.”  Well, the staircase in front of the H5H organization is not going to be easy.  Twenty five days ago, the majority of our restaurants & sports bars were thrust into a place that we could not have anticipated nor prevented.  It was not our fault, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is how we respond to it.  There is no escalator out of here.  It’s a set of stairs that we will need to climb, together.  What are you willing to do?  Are you willing to take the stairs?  To succeed, to prevail, to win, we need the right mindset.

“The haves and the have nots can often be traced back to the dids and the did nots.” ~ D.O. Flynn

This is a call to action.

·         We will  COMMIT.

·         We will  FOCUS.

·         We will  TAKE ACTION.

·         We will GAIN TRACTION.

·         We will CELEBRATE. 

We will commit

We will commit to unprecedented attention to detail on all Food Safety procedures and hand washing by our team.  We will talk about it daily.  We will commit to daily execution of our SOP/Manager functions.  We will commit to phenomenal Brand Champ roll outs and follow through in our Sports Bars, and an even higher level of hospitality at the Stone Balloon and Limestone BBQ (just be nice).  We will commit to opening the front door for every guest, helping folks carry their TOGO order to the car and even walking with them and holding an umbrella when it’s raining.  We will commit to being extraordinary when everyone around us is ordinary.  No one is perfect, but we need to be great.  Will you commit?

We will focus:

We will focus on, you guessed it, Hospitality.  True, genuine, from the heart, old fashioned hospitality.  We will focus on guest counts and transaction counts. We will focus on BIG HELLOS and BIG GOODBYES.  We will invoke the 5ft, 10 ft rule when interacting with each other and with our guests.  We will focus on “being present” in our conversations with team members & guests and “being aware” of the moments of truth.  What is a moment of truth?  It is whenever a guest has the opportunity to form an opinion of the product or service that we provide, or the cleanliness of the facility that we provide it in.  From the parking lot, to the front door, to the counter, to the way we manicure tables, to the restrooms and even in the kitchen….we will focus on the moments of truth.  Will you focus?

We will take action

Who is in control of our destiny?  We are!  Therefore, we will take action.  This is an all hands on deck opportunity.  This is hand to hand combat.  TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK, EWRF, GRADUATION, MOTHER’S DAY, BBQ SEASON….all of these events are opportunities to inject 5 STAR HOSPITALITY into the hands/faces/eyes/minds/bellies of our unsuspecting guests.  We are going to work harder at guerrilla marketing than we ever have.  We will need to go out of our way to invite guest into our restaurants/sports bars, even going as far as giving them a tour of our kitchen to show them that we are doing things right.  Education on the virus that plunged us into this place so that others will know the level of risk and all the things we did right.  Remember FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) from the email a couple of weeks ago?  By the way, also from Rory’s book.  Action is the cure for FEAR.  Will you take action?

We will gain traction 

Step by step.  One foot in front of the other.  Moment by moment.  Hour by hour.  Shift by shift.  One day at a time.  We will begin to build on the mindset shift and the little changes and the incremental improvements.  As we train, educate, develop and inspire our teams to drill down into detail, reach new goals, challenge the status quo and build on that momentum.  We will sink our teeth into the right things for our individual teams that will propel them to another level.  Every decision we make today will gain traction.  It will either be productive, positive and game changing or it can go a completely different direction and still be game changing.  We are in charge of our results.  Our decisions determine our success or failure.  We can do nothing, punch the time clock, and see what happens….or…. we can dare to take control and gain traction and move forward.  Will you gain traction?

We will Celebrate

When we hit the goal – celebrate.  When we receive a positive guest comment – celebrate.  When a server goes through an entire shift without comping a meal – celebrate.  When the HOH team nails our ticket times for the whole hour – celebrate.  When a milestone is reached- celebrate.  When the home team wins – celebrate.  Celebrate and share the celebration with your peers so that we can cheer you on.  Celebrating creates positive traction towards similar behaviors.  It’s the gift of the goose (someone will ask me what that is).  

In our role as Civic Leaders with the USAF, Lori and I were honored to attend the coin ceremony and graduation of 790 airmen last week at Joint Base San Antonio (Lackland AFB).  Over eight weeks, young men and women were trained by skilled leaders that took them on a journey that started as a civilian and turned them into lethal warriors.  They are now the future legacy of the greatest Air Force on earth.  They sit a little straighter, they stand a little taller, they walk with a little more confidence because of a mindset shift that will be necessary for success in their new job.  Oh, and by the way, they know how to make their bed.  We were honored to be there, and we are proud of the commitment, service and sacrifice that the leaders in our US Military perform each and every day.  Celebrate?  Yes they did.  With a full on parade…..and it was awesome.

We are anxiously awaiting the results of “Best of Delaware”.  Will we win? Will there be a cause to celebrate?  High 5 Hospitality was born out of the idea of celebrate.  That’s what the high 5 is.  We can do much better at this.  Will you celebrate?

Speaking of celebrate, I was recently interviewed for a podcast called Inspiring Growth.  I never dreamed that I would record a podcast when I stepped into the kitchen of a Kentucky Fried Chicken many years ago.  That’s the cool thing about taking the stairs, along the journey there are opportunities that you would never have if you were on the escalator.  I’m still climbing.  The podcast was released on May 1st.  Help me celebrate my first.

Inspiring Growth Podcast

“NEW” H5H Website