Recently, I had the pleasure of watching the movie “The Greatest Showman.” And it just so happens that right before I watched “The Greatest Showman” I had listened to a podcast about choking under pressure. After watching the movie, I couldn’t help but find myself comparing the two. I found myself with the following thoughts:
*We need to find strength to persevere on a daily, sometimes situational, basis.
*Everyone has talent inside of them just waiting to be exposed with the right encouragement.
*Goals breed focus. Focus breeds success. Success breeds accomplishment. Accomplishment makes us yearn for new goals.
Follow me on this…
In the movie, the characters continually put themselves in positions where they allowed themselves the opportunity to choke. One more time, they allowed themselves the opportunity to choke. Almost from the beginning of the movie, I started relating this idea to our staff and our business.
When someone sits down to eat at our restaurant, our hope is that they enjoy a seamless, delicious, relaxing meal. But in order to ensure that our guests have a great dining experience, taking place in the background are hundreds of moving pieces. I would say it is nothing short of a miracle what we, as a team, can do on a busy Friday or Saturday night. How we deliver an exceptional dining experience is a result of the fact that our crew has practiced this a million times, thrives under the pressure, and shares a common goal: delivering great meals to our guests.
If you’ve worked in the restaurant industry, you understand what I’m saying. Each shift you’re allowing yourself to be a risk-taker. After enough practice, the likelihood of failing or messing up decreases. This is when comfortable kicks in. And while comfortable is great for a pair of sweatpants, it’s not good for business, and it’s certainly not good for growth. This is where we differentiate our culture vs. other businesses.
When our crew gets enough practice, and begins to feel like a cozy pair of sweatpants, I start challenging them more. This is where our growth happens:
- Added a Sunday brunch buffet
- Created a few $6 burgers for the month of September to celebrate the last month of road construction
- Showed them problems within the business and encouraged them to search for solutions
- Developed an online ordering system
- Supported an employee to start a marketing company because we needed a social media marketing manager
None of those things above would’ve happened if our crew didn’t agree to put themselves into positions to take risks. Sometimes we do fail, and that’s part of it. We learn, reflect, and move on.
For instance, we have had many learning experiences while implementing our buffet (for those of you we had to turn away on Mother’s Day, we apologize). We’re going to put ourselves in the same position next year on Mother’s Day, learn from our mistakes and absolutely aim to exceed your expectations.
When you start allowing yourself the opportunity to “choke”, you’re doing something important. You’re growing. If you don’t have a little nervousness in your stomach, you’re too comfortable. Get out of that habit. If you’re too comfortable, it means you’re probably not growing yourself or the others around you.
Our staff has to be o.k. with the opportunity to continually allow themselves the opportunity to fail. There is too much talent in each of them to let them just be comfortable while they’re here.
Henry Kissinger said it well, “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” We all have the ability to perform under pressure, we just have to make the decision to get uncomfortable.
Check out the title track from The Greatest Showman!