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A Leadership ‘Tip’ From … Servers

Waiter  walking with beverage on tray Royalty Free Stock Photos

You watch these people, and have a quiet awe of how they can do it. Steady hands yet moving briskly along the restaurant with a tray of water, iced tea, or other beverage. Servers – these hard-working men & women who have to juggle so many different demands in their shift – gliding along the floor without spilling anything.

How do they do it? How is it possible to have drinks filled almost to the brim, balanced, and gracefully move around obstacles, both stationary and moving, to their destination without an accident?

It’s the same principle that allows leaders to achieve results. They keep their eyes on the goal.

Servers are instructed never to look at the glass, but straight ahead. Once your eyes notice what your doing, you overcompensate and the balance shifts. That’s how spills happen, which then takes the server off their other responsibilities. They’re told to just grab the tray and their hands will naturally balance and self-correct. Yes, other patrons may beckon for their attention. People may dart in their way in a split second. Yet they just keep their focus and successfully march towards their next destination.

As leaders we can ill afford to take our eyes off the ball, to get distracted with the details of what we’re doing. We must fix our eyes on the goal, no matter what distractions and disruption occurs along the way. Other tables of relative urgency may tug at us, but we must stay the course to deliver the goods we’ve been charged to make happen.

Stay focused on your goals, and the other disruptions won’t spill over on you.

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