I recently attempted to eat dinner at a restaurant but was greeted with this sign on the door: “Due to staffing issues only our drive-thru will be open for the rest of the night.” Inconvenient to be sure, but I had won a prize from the restaurant that I wanted to use so back to my car I went to pull around.

At the drive-thru, I learned that the $10 gift certificate that I won from their contest was when the franchise was under a different manager and the prize would not be honored. So I moved on to Plan C, only to find my coupon didn’t work either as their “mixed chicken” did not mix chicken and tenders (which is what my friend wanted). At that point, I opted for the three-strikes-you’re-out theory and left without ordering anything.

After my experience at the drive-thru, I am not surprised that they had staffing issues or turnover in their management. If leadership doesn’t show consideration or provide good service to customers, I suspect it carries over to how they treat employees. Or maybe it is the reverse: because the management doesn’t treat employees well, maybe that is why the staff doesn’t treat customers well. Either way, it is a recipe for ill-will and operational decline. No matter how tasty the food, if the people aren’t good it doesn’t matter.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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