Cooking Breakfast and Leaving Well Enough Alone: An HR Lesson

by Frank Roche on April 18, 2011

in Business, Management

That’s a picture of the kitchen at my favorite breakfast place. Sheryl and I ate at the counter on Saturday and I got a chance to watch a really great operation work at maximum efficiency.

As you can see, they have a galley kitchen. And they serve a lot of people — quickly. Know what I really paid attention to? Those shortorder cooks were completely nonplussed. They set up breakfasts and knocked them out. No drama. No worries. No yelling. They were actually enjoying themselves.

Know what else I know? They weren’t following some training manual. They hadn’t been to trust classes. They didn’t have to suffer through performance reviews. None of it.

Those people were ready. Knew what they had to do. And they didn’t need a manager haranguing them to make them work.

I have a hunch a lot of jobs are like those short-order cook jobs. People know what they’re doing…and they do it.

The best managers know when to leave well enough alone.

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