Where are all the great business leaders? Or even good leaders? Or even good “managers”? There appears to be a void of even competent business leaders. So you ask yourself why? Is higher education failing to create them? Is the economy to blame? Are the very business “leaders” to blame for their own leadership or what they cultivate within their organization? I hope to analyze the situation and “strike a match” of thoughts in your brain.
Let me begin …
As those that know me will attest, I am not fond of reality television shows. However, pop culture and cost-cutting TV executives (reduced scripting, actors and production costs) seem to embracing them more each year. The three reality tv shows I seem to watch are … Amazing Race (for the travel ideas/scenes and it seems less “put on”), The Apprentice (when it was not the celebrity version) and Undercover Boss. My reasons, although maybe a bit geeky (OK, no comments!), is to watch and learn about business examples, tidbits and kernels of knowledge to add to my “tool kit” (maybe it did not do enough in that area haha). Very often to integrate these examples into my courses if possible.
I have been watching Undercover Boss since its first season last year. It is an interesting show. I have been inspired by it. At the same time, I wonder about its “inner workings” in terms of how companies, locations and employees are determined. Ultimately, how much influence from the production company and the sponsoring company have on the pre-production setup. Be that as it may, there are still many “takeaways” from this show for business executives.
I have wanted to write a blog about it … so here it is.
Rick Silva is the chief executive officer of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants. Based in Tampa, Mr. Silva disguised himself to be placed into front-line jobs based in Carol City, Homestead and Mobile Alabama. From a press release, it appears that there were three other stores that did not make the final episode cut. The press release also said that Checkers did not pay for the appearance on UB. The show typically is seen by 13 million viewers.
So, Checkers is obviously in a very competitive industry to provide food by balancing quality, speed and cost all while maintaining their branding. From what many of my colleagues teach, employing good management, operations, financial and business principles.
In the episode, Mr. Silva visited one of their locations undercover with the purpose of validating and evaluating the “back house” operations of food and order preparation. While he was performing those duties, he was frustrated that the Company’s standard procedures were not implemented as outlined (mislabeled buttons, time standards, cooking preparation). While he was working, the manager was “barking” out orders and not managing the back house operations very well. Employees were feeling “worthless” and unmotivated.
Have you ever felt like that as an employee? So what could be learned from this? Stay tuned …