A few days ago I met my wife and kids for lunch at a great chicken fingers place here in Reno called “Raising Cane’s.” And despite the fact that my three year old wanted nothing to do with the chicken, and everything to do with the french fries, the chicken there is AMAZING. What really separates this place though from other chicken joints is their sauce, which they make daily in their stores from a “top secret” recipe.
Towards the end of our meal I looked down at my drink and read what was written on the side. Here’s a picture of what I read:
What I find so cool about this is the Founder’s signature at the bottom: Todd Graves, Founder, CEO, Fry Cook and Cashier. This sends a message, not only to his customers, but also to his employees. And that message is simply that he still views himself as being part of the team, and not above the team. It would have been very normal and acceptable for him to label himself as Todd Graves, Founder and CEO, but he intentionally added those other two roles that he’s held within the organization.
I don’t know Todd Graves personally, but I suspect he’s the type of guy that you want to work with and for. Not only has he founded a successful business, he apparently has never lost sight of all the various roles and positions that makes Raising Cane’s great. I would bet that when he visits a restaurant he’s the type of CEO who spends time talking with and getting to know the cashier and the fry cook, and he probably even takes his turn manning the register.
If you are in any type of leadership/management role, my challenge to you is to never lose sight of all of the other critically important roles/jobs within your own organization, and to think of ways you can connect with others who have different roles than you do.