Tag Archive for service

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.

What I Learned When I Started To Serve Others

It’s very easy in this selfie obsessed world to focus on what you do not have instead of what you do.

Last year, I found myself doing just that. I was worried that I wasn’t making as much money as I should be, and that I didn’t own the type of car or clothes that other people in their 40s do. That thinking started to rot my brain and make me very bitter.

So, I decided to shift my thinking. I wasn’t going to be able to change my material possessions any time soon, and I really didn’t even know that I wanted to. I just wanted to “look” successful.

I am a veteran and you don’t have to look hard to find information on the number of veterans who are homeless and not getting the care they deserve. Everyday, 22 veterans commit suicide and many of those deaths are preventable. So, I started focusing my attention on those important issues through a nonprofit I started called Valiant Seed. (valiantseed.org, @valiantseed, facebook.com/valiantseed)

SkillsUSA Oregon is one of our partners and we are working on raising funds and awareness for our veterans in Oregon who need us. Shifting my focus to doing good works has made my whole outlook better.

Find a project or cause that you are passionate about and log some hours working for it. It looks great on college applications and scholarships, but it will also make you feel better and help shift your thinking to a most positive light.  I promise.

Image Credit: Repsly.com

Three Important Political Lessons I Learned As An Obama Field Organizer

It’s that time in America once again as Presidential campaigns roar into life, and people young and old alike begin evaluating their choices and vocally supporting their favorite candidates.

Here at TeamTRI, we have folks from all sorts of political backgrounds, many of whom have worked for candidates both Democratic and Republican. This article describes someof the lessons I captured from my own political experience working for President Obama’s first campaign for President as a bright-eyed 20-year old entering his sophomore year of college. Whether you’re a seasoned political buff or someone looking to get into politics for the first time, hopefully you’ll find these lessons illuminating.

And, again, I wrote this when I was 20 years old, so be kind:


I started writing diaries on Daily Kos (a progressive blogging sit) during the primaries, and was planning to write a series of diaries about my experience in the Obama Organizing Fellowship program that began back in June.  However, the Obama campaign had a very strict press protocol that made blogging impossible (at least if I wanted to keep my job), so I went into hibernation for the six weeks of the Fellowship.

Shortly after the Fellowship ended, the campaign began accepting applications for paid positions.  I applied, and after a short period of uncertainty, I was accepted, and assigned Coos, Curry and Douglas Counties in southwestern Oregon.

For those of you unfamiliar with that area, it constitutes a pretty conservative block of Oregon.  Douglas County, in particular, had the distinction of being the reddest county in Oregon with a population over 50,000 people in 2004, when it went 66%-33% for George W. Bush.  With six weeks of experience, I was cast out into this little slice of red state America and told to go forth and organize.

This experience opened my eyes to the realities of campaigning in a lot of ways.  The first and most obvious lesson I learned was that campaigning is hard.  I’ve always been something of an overachiever, and was fully used to pushing myself to the limit in order to reach a goal or get a grade.  But I had never experienced anything like being a field organizer, nor do I think that it’s likely for anything to come close.

For 99 days, my life became Barack Obama.  When I woke up in the morning, I would roll out of bed, put on clothes (often not washed, since I no longer had time to do laundry), and make the commute to work.  From the moment I got to work at around 9am, to the last conference call at 10pm, my life consisted of doing anything and everything to get phone calls made, voter registration cards collected, and doors knocked.  After the conference calls, the job shifted to entering in data we might have left over from the day, preparing for the next day, and often undertaking any other random little projects that would often have us there until midnight or later.  After that, the goal became sleep – not for enjoyment, but merely because if you didn’t sleep, the next day of work would be even harder, not to mention less productive.

Mind you, all of this is in a state that no one – from Campaign Manager David Plouffe in his strategy briefings to everyone we encountered on the ground  – considered a swing state.  In states like Virginia and Ohio, I imagine that the hardest part of field organizing was making sure that you had the capacity and organization to effectively coordinate the efforts of several hundred volunteers every single day (Every time I read something about a state running out of turf to canvass, I was almost sick with jealousy).  In Oregon, the biggest challenge was persuading, cajoling, begging and pleading people to come in and knock on doors or make phone calls for a bit.  On top of us, we had the lofty goals of the campaign, and below us we had people coming into our offices, asking for free stuff, then telling us that they couldn’t help because they were busy and because “Besides, Oregon’s in the bag anyway”.  I’m sure both situations had their pros and cons, but having people imply that the central part of your life is frivolous every single day is hard as well.

There’s another more important lesson that the campaign taught me, however:  In the four and a half months that I dedicated my life to electing Barack Obama President, I discovered that a tremendous amount of people don’t understand how an election’s ground game works, or why it’s important.  The fact that I encountered so many people who thought that a lack of lawn signs indicated a losing campaign, or who asked me questions like “Wait, we make phone calls when people are eating dinner?” makes me realize how much of a disconnect often exists between the people who work for campaigns and the voters they’re actually trying to contact.

If more people understood some very simple ways that they could help a campaign without volunteering, and how easy it is to help the campaign WITH volunteering, I believe it would be tremendously helpful in future campaigns.  I think it’s especially important because in the midst of the campaign, I realized a basic fact that took away a lot of my frustration with people incessantly asking for yard signs:  Before I worked for the campaign, I probably would have done the exact same thing.  That revelation opened my eyes to the intent of the folks I encountered in my time with the campaign, and made me think that it might be helpful to bridge the gap a little bit between campaign and voter.


Of course, I never finished that article, but I do still vividly remember the lesson I wanted to share: You’re probably going to be contacted be a campaign this year, and you’re probably going to hate it. It might be a phone call, it might be a door knock, it might be someone volunteering to help you register to vote. Whatever it happens to be, just remember that the person who is pestering you is poorly paid (if at all), is working hard for something they believe in, and, most importantly, is usually working for the same goal you are.

It takes a lot of courage to go out and initiate voter contact, and it’s even harder if people are short, rude, or downright mean to volunteers and campaign workers. They’re people, too, and often some of the most passionate and earnest people you’re likely to meet.

So give ’em a break. A few minutes of polite conversation, and even some helpful encouragement goes a long way toward someone breaking their back to do the best the can to change the world for the better. Even if you don’t agree with their chosen candidate or position, as Jay-Z once said, you can’t knock the hustle.

Curtis Haley is the Senior Program Manager at TeamTRI. He lives in Oregon and recently got engaged so hooray for love.

Image Credit: Indiatimes.com