Rule #8 in THE WALKING LEADER is TRY OUT THEIR WORK & NEW OLIVE GARDEN OWNERS DID SO!
The Walking Leader’s Rule #8 focuses on leaders getting into the trenches and trying out the job of the people that are in the various front line locations in the organization. Of course, there are a few stipulations that can prevent a Walking Leader from doing someone’s job, such as lack of security clearance or equipment use certification. However, for the most part anyone and everyone in a leadership position should try out all the jobs that they can within their organization.
Recently, several investors of the Starboard Value, a hedge fund and owner of the largest stake in the Olive Garden restaurant chain did just that. They worked shifts in the kitchen and waited tables at an Olive Garden restaurant. The members of Starboard Value certainly knew that they had to get a realistic feel of what it is like to work at Olive Garden, especially after getting bashed by its customers and critics for its bad food, too much waste (i.e., unlimited bread sticks and salad) and overall dated look and attitude.
The hedge fund owners of the restaurant chain certainly stunned many by taking the initiative, jumping into the trenches, and filling a few sand bags or in this case, waiting tables and cooking up some pasta e fagioli.
In The Walking Leader, I mention how important it is for leaders to get a true understanding of all the jobs that are performed in the organization. It gives the leaders a unique perspective on how things are done now versus how things were done in the past.
Having the Starboard Value hedge fund leaders dive right in to the thick of it, they get to see what the front line staff see all the time. If only ALL organizations (private and public sector) had such leadership and initiative there would not be half the problems we have now. Imagine, a state agency that would operate a level of competency because the state headquarters staff got an opportunity to see what life was like during the graveyard shift at a 24/7 state facility. Imagine, how organizations such as Enron would have had a difficult time hiding all the nonsense they did manage to hide. Who knows Enron might still have been a major player in the energy industry?
Since this “TRY OUT THEIR WORK” event took place, Darden Restaurants stock value has climbed “4% and hit a new all-time high in the process.” This is good for Darden, Starboard Value, stock holders and most of all to its customers. It is the customer that is currently and will continue to benefit the most.
Disclosure: I own stock in DARDEN RESTAURANTS [NYSE: DRI]. It is not a lot but I do have Darden stock in my portfolio.
THE WALKING LEADER: The 20 Rules You Can Follow Now to Guide You Down the Path of Leadership Greatness is the first book in the Walking Leader series written by David G. Guerra.
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reference: http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/02/news/companies/olive-garden-starboard/, http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/23/investing/olive-garden-darden-restaurants-earnings/index.html