Tag Archive for Leadership

Delicious Leadership Service Part 2: Lessons from Canlis

At TEAMTRI we believe great leadership happens from the inside out. And, we believe that every organization whether it’s a family, a nonprofit, a publicly traded company, or a family owned restaurant has the capacity and responsibility to learn and practice sincere, authentic, and real leadership to serve others—and when real leadership happens everyone benefits and grows.

So, while we do our work in leadership, we are constantly reading, studying, and searching for examples of leaders and organizations who have figured out real service and leadership. Enjoy the delicious leadership insights from Trevor and Michelle’s experience dining at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle in Part 2 of 4 of this series. And thank you again to the Canlis Crew for exceeding the incredibly high expectations we had for you!

Lesson 2: Share a Story

By Trevor Mulholland

We sat at the table of the Canlis Founder, Peter Canlis. While our server Miranda was explaining the courses, we noticed a telephone (not a cell phone) sitting next to our Disco Dome for saletable. Miranda explained that before the founder passed away, Peter would sit at this table when not visiting with guests and watch the interactions happening throughout the restaurant. He had the phone installed so that he could call each station to ensure every table was receiving the level of service that he expected. Later during the meal, Miranda called us on this telephone to ensure that our meal was meeting these same expectations the founder had set over 60 years ago.

Lessons: There are so many lessons in this telephone story. The first lesson we picked up on was the power of observational leadership. Mr. Canlis set a standard of high expectation, observed closely to ensure each customer was receiving it, and took it one step further by installing the telephone to validate that it was happening—in real time (not via a post experience survey on a website like we so often find in our digital world today).

The second lesson we experienced was the power of the story. The telephone was a story trigger. By telling the telephone story, Miranda ensured that even though Mr. Canlis had passed away, he left a way to pass on the things that are important. She channeled the high service standards of the founder from yesterday right to our very meal today. Great leaders multiply greater leaders. And, Canlis uses a telephone to help ensure the story and delivery of great services continues to be written with each and every meal.

Application: We are going to look for the “telephone” in our worlds that tells the story of something far greater than it may initially seem. Like the red wagon logo for America’s Promise or the apple logo at Apple, there are stories waiting to be told and multiplied in simple everyday items. And, when there is a story to tell we’re going to tell it!

Up Next… How to Fire Up Your Delicious Leadership Service

Thank you for joining us for this second part of our series on Delicious Leadership Service. Join us for Part 3 as we highlight how to “fire up” your service and make people feel special.

Delicious Leadership Service Part 1: Lessons from Canlis

At TEAMTRI we believe great leadership happens from the inside out. And, we believe that every organization – whether it’s a family, nonprofit, publicly traded company, or family-owned restaurant – has the capacity and responsibility to learn and practice sincere, authentic, and real leadership to serve others—and when real Inflatable pool Canada leadership happens everyone benefits and grows.

So, while we do our work in leadership, we are constantly reading, studying, and searching for examples of leaders and organizations who have figured out real service and leadership. That’s what led our Team to Seattle to study Canlis.

We are avid fans of the Building a StoryBrand Podcast with Donald Miller and Donald featured the Seattle-based restaurant, Canlis, on episode 8. So, while we were out serving a wonderful client (the School Nurses Organization of Washington), we surprised two of our super TEAMTRI leaders with dinner at Canlis. We wanted to show our appreciation for their great work and also give them the opportunity to personally experience leadership and service lessons from Canlis and relay them to inspire our work.

Over the next few articles, we’ll feature insights from Event Services Manager Trevor Mulholland and Accounting Services Manager Michelle Collins and their experience dining at Canlis and all they learned dining at what Business Insider rates as one of the 10 best restaurants in the United States.

Enjoy the delicious leadership insights from Trevor and Michelle and thank you again to the Canlis Crew for exceeding the incredibly high expectations we had for you!

Leadership Service Lessons from Canlis

By Trevor Mulholland

There have been very few meals in my life that have really stood out – a fine steakhouse for my high school graduation, a beautiful Italian feast on a study abroad trip to Florence, and now, my recent experience at Canlis.

Growing up in a large family, nice meals have always been reserved for extremely special occasions (graduations, engagements, etc.) TEAMTRI recently treated Michelle and me to Canlis – we had studied the restaurant on a recent Team Call, and were both ecstatic to dine at this renowned establishment.

From the moment we arrived, just about every interaction with the team at Canlis gave me goosebumps. Was this what it’s like to be a celebrity? I may never know the answer to this, but I am positive that every person in that restaurant was treated as if they were the only person there. Here are a few lessons that can be applied in the workplace to give every person you encounter the Canlis Experience.

Lesson 1: Little Details Are a Big Deal

Every course we enjoyed was intentionally thought out. The bread we were served before our first course came atop a dish of warmed grains of rice – not cooked rice, but warmed so that it kept the bread perfectly toasty without getting soggy. This was just one of the many details they delivered perfectly throughout the dining experience. Everything matters at Canlis.

Lesson: While not always acknowledged, people appreciate the extra thought and effort put into making their experience outstanding at your restaurant, store, or place of business. They may never tell you, but, they are likely to tell others. Whether it’s a dinner course, an email, the presence you have in a meeting, helping someone to the car, learning the wants and preferences of your customers, or the way you format a document—the little things add up to the experience people have of you and your organization.

Application: We are going to study our “routines” at home and at work and look for simple ways to add little adjustments that show how much we really care and think things through. When you remember and pay attention to the little details, you are telling others “you are a BIG DEAL to me.”

Up Next…The Importance of Stories in Delivering Delicious Service

Join us for the second part of this four-part series next week as we highlight delicious leadership by Canlis and share about the importance of stories in delivering great service.

Rise Up from “We the People” to “We The Leaders”

Ryan Underwood is the CEO and Chief Leadership Officer of TEAMTRI and a Sector Partner of GiANT Worldwide. Ryan helps multiply leaders to serve and create awesome futures. Ryan and his wife Carrie Underwood attended the Presidential Inauguration and share with us lessons from this unique experience. Email: ryan@teamtri.com   Twitter: @TEAMTRI_CEO

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We recently had the opportunity to attend the 58th Inauguration of the President of the United States as guests of Congress. Our home, like all of our Team at TRI, split our votes Inflatable pool Canada in a number of ways for a number of candidates just like America did.

The point of this reflection is not to call out a party or politics, but, to call up all of you to reach for a higher level of leadership, service, and love from yourself, for one another, and for our nation.

In the video I shot on my phone from my vantage point on the inaugural platform, you’ll experience what we experienced during the swearing in ceremony. Listen closely. This is what most of the world didn’t hear if you watched it on TV.

Listen past the Supreme Court Chief Justice trying to conduct the ceremony. Listen past the pledge of the President. Listen for the voices in the crowd SHOUTING the Preamble to the Constitution over the top of the ceremony to try and distract, disrupt, and derail the proceeding. They are not hard to miss.


Did you hear “WE THE PEOPLE…?!”

Did you hear some of the audience trying to disrupt the swearing in ceremony?

There was nothing wrong with the inaugural platform, speakers or AV. There were speakers placed throughout the platform and we all heard every speech, presentation, and prayer clearly during the ceremony—until this moment.

The Preamble was being SHOUTED in a rehearsed, choregraphed, and orchestrated fashion right over the top of the swearing in ceremony. How the Chief Justice and President got through this moment without error still amazes me. It was the exercise of the First Amendment guaranteeing FREE SPEECH at full volume carelessly attempting to interrupt the first part of the Constitution that makes possible that very same right.

And while inauguration week ended with the transition of power, my lesson on that day comes from the beginning of the week when we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Day.  Dr. King famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

As I’ve reflected on inauguration day and Dr. King, it occurred to me that, “Drama cannot drive out drama, only leadership can do that.”

In a democracy, we choose officials who represent us. They do more than represent our perspective, issue, or opinion—they represent our current collective level of leadership.

If we want better leadership, we’re not going to get it by SHOUTING at officials rudely as that is exactly what our leaders are going to do back to us. We’re going to get great leadership when “we the people” become “we the leaders.”  When we use our voices as leaders in the right time and the right space with the right message not to “call out” others but to “call them up” to the higher level of leadership we as citizens exhibit and expect.

A clear example of using your voice the right way, at the right time, with the right message can be learned from Dr. King.  And, I’m not talking about Martin Luther, I’m talking about another Dr. King—his youngest daughter Reverend Dr. Bernice King.


I loved her message, especially at the 12:55 mark when she said, “People no longer care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, they are looking for leaders willing to serve humanity at all costs.”

When we limit our view to seeing ourselves as just people, then we the people disrupt and shout. And we get people at all levels who disrupt our lives and shout at us.

But when we see ourselves as leaders serving humanity at all costs, we are going to get leaders who serve us and humanity at all costs.

The best the laws of man can do is create a Constitution for we the people. But, the laws of humanity call us to stand on the foundation of the Constitution and rise and reach to become we the leaders.

Rising up happens in your house…in my house…before it happens in The White House. Rising up means we can do better than shouting. Rising up means realizing actions do indeed speak louder than words. Rising up means we serve. And when we rise, we the leaders will raise up true leaders to serve humanity and the shouts we hear will be shouts of joy!


Today’s TEAMTRI Guest Blog is from Dr. Jim Lemoine. Dr. Lemoine is on the research faculty at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo as part of their Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness. He is an Assistant Professor of Organizations and Human Resources; a Trustee of Castle jump house the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership; a past local, state, and national Career Technical Student Organization officer for FFA, FBLA, and PBL; and a TEAMTRI Alumnus. His research on organizational management has been published in several outlets including the Harvard Business Review. As a researcher, Dr. Lemoine is always looking for organizational partners to study leadership behavior and determine effective approaches to improve outcomes. His email address is jlemoine@buffalo.edu.

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We all know that leadership is important. It’s the primary topic of countless books, speeches, and classes. It’s the focal concern of thousands, maybe millions, of organizational managers. It’s a development area for most every employee in the world, and the one thing we believe can make or break a business, a sports team, or a country. We talk about the need for better leaders, we hear how great leadership can make great differences, and we lament that so many of our institutional leaders do a poor job of leading us.

We know that leadership is important. But something I often wonder is whether we could ever agree on what it actually is.

Imagine you were working with an exchange student from a deeply solitary culture, where people work alone for most of their lives as hermits, without any managers or hierarchy or even teams. He is confused by this word, “leadership,” and asks you what it means. How would you describe it?

A government official once answered that question by saying that leadership is power. I noted that this was a pleasingly simple and easy-to-understand definition, and he nodded agreement. Then I brought up the possibility that a robber might hold him at gunpoint, forcing him to hand over his wallet.

The robber would certainly have power over him, but it would be difficult to argue that the robber was actually ‘leading’ anyone. In the end, we agreed that there was likely more to leadership than just power.

A manager I worked with answered that question by saying that leadership is exhibited when your employees respect you, so they get things done. I told her that I liked the sound of it, but wondered whether this was really leadership itself, or the outcome of leadership? Was it possible that respect and effectiveness were the things that resulted from good leadership, rather than the leadership itself? What, then, are the actual leadership behaviors that would result in these good outcomes?

A senior corporate executive in a training seminar answered that question by saying that leadership is just treating people well. Everyone in attendance liked this definition, but I had to wonder: was that really all leadership was? Surely you could argue that treating people well is part of leadership, but is treating people well really enough to lead them? What about holding them accountable? What about getting things done, as the manager had suggested? The last time I ate at Wendy’s, the salesperson behind the counter treated me very well. Was he leading me?

A janitor at a company I used to work at answered that question by saying that leaders are servants. This was a very different answer than I was used to hearing, so I asked him to tell me more. He told me that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that serving others is the most important definition of greatness, and that by serving others, we teach them to care about us, each other, and the world around them. Through that care, they would be motivated to go forth and accomplish great things.

Personally, I like the janitor’s answer the best. He taught me something that day.

Former U.S. President and World War II General Dwight D. Eisenhower (the first American general to eat meals with his enlisted men, rather than in the officer’s tent) once said that leadership was the art of getting people to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it. And how do you make them want to do, what you want them to do? You don’t coerce, you don’t order, and you don’t merely treat them well: you ask questions, you listen, you help, and you persuade. You learn what their goals are, and you find alignment in how working toward the organization’s goals, or the community’s goals, or even society’s goals, can help you both. You provide them with the training and resources to succeed in your new mutual goals. You push them to ever-higher levels, believing in them and ensuring they have all of the skills and knowledge they need to reach their potentials. You learn from them by listening, and try to teach them what you can in turn. You build their self-confidence, and motivate them to help others just the way you, hopefully, are helping them.

Many have said that there is a leadership crisis in the world. It is difficult to argue with this statement, although this crisis is not a new problem. It is possible that the reason we can’t seem to find good leaders, is that we have not yet agreed on what a good leader is. We are drawn to charismatic and sometimes narcissistic individuals, assuming that their smooth speeches and visionary talking points are the marks of a leader, without thinking through what it is we really want from a leader. We are conditioned to see leadership as a position of power, a title to be held or an honor to be bestowed, rather than something that any of us could do, at any time, from any job. We unfortunately view leadership as something on a pedestal, something distant, rather than something that could be practiced by anyone – like a janitor.

Leadership is about putting the people around you first – being a servant – such that they collectively are able to accomplish goals that they previously could never have attempted. Leaders point the way to those ambitious goals, and help their colleagues find ways to reach them together.

The mark of a great leader is not accolades and awards, but rather that the people around her have grown and succeeded. The great leader is not necessarily the person who is elected to a political post, or the manager who skyrockets up a company’s chain of command: it’s the team member who constantly has to replace his team, because they keep growing and getting promoted.

The boss asks, “What are you going to do today? How are you going to hit your goals? How is the company going to be better, because you were a part of it?” The leader asks, “How can I help you accomplish our goals today?”

Being a boss is as simple as giving orders, promising raises and promotions, and threatening punishments. Being a leader is much more difficult, as you have to be humble, you have to listen, and you have to put your team first.

You have to learn about them, develop them, and show them how they can be even more than what they are.

Would you rather work for a boss or a leader? Would you rather be a boss or a leader?

Incredible Life Lessons from Working In A Kitchen

Throughout high school and college, I worked in a restaurant kitchen. I worked in a variety of different places from a fast-paced breakfast restaurant to a high-class hotel restaurant. There are so many different benefits to working in a kitchen – from learning to cook different dishes, to being able to eat all kinds of food.

Although, being able to eat what I cooked was great, I learned a few other important life lessons along the way:

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation!

In the kitchen, we spend anywhere from 25% – 35% of our time preparing for our shift ahead. We must have all our ingredients for every dish ready. This means that every steak must be cut, every bottle of oil must be full, and every vegetable must be chopped and ready. This early preparation will prevent you from needing to complete these tasks when you face a restaurant full of hungry people!

Learning to prepare has one of the best lessons to learn. Preparing for events or activities before they happen will help you avoid getting frantic while at an event or activity. Preparation will set you free to enjoy your event or activity.

2. Listen to the needs of the person you are serving.

While cooking, I had to learn that I must listen to the person that I was serving. Whether they asked for a steak to be medium-rare, asked for no salt on their fries, or they asked for gluten-free bread, I had to pay close attention to their needs. You never know when someone might have a food allergy or what they might not like. Serving someone a dish that they might not like or could hurt them can make for a terrible experience for everyone.

As a leader, you must listen to the needs of the people you are leading. They might be saying that they need help with a task or they might be telling you that they would prefer to do something differently than planned. As a leader, you should be able to listen and react to their needs.

3. Teamwork makes everything easier.

This one might sound obvious – yes, you want to work well with other cooks in the kitchen so no one gets hurt around the kitchen equipment. However, there  are plenty of other people you must work well with to succeed in the kitchen. There are the servers that take the customer’s order, the dishwashers that wensure that you have clean pots and pans, and of course the other cooks in the kitchen.

When you can rely on others to help you with needed and others can depend on you, it can make the job a whole lot easier. There will be times when you get overwhelmingly busy, but great teams can rely on each other to push through these tough moments.

Bon appetit!