Monday, June 14, 2010

Ice Cream With A Plan

My wife and I were driving back from a camp recently and spotted on of our favorite places.  If you live in the heart of Texas or anywhere in Yankee territory, you have probably never visited a Braums.  All I can say is, as a self appointed expert in the area of frozen yummieness called ice cream, they are incredible.  Cappuccino Chunky Chocolate is by far my favorite.

Rachael and I quickly put the kids to bed at Nanna's house and went over for a late night getaway.  It was late, but they were still open.  The lady behind the counter was very friendly, especially for someone in the fast food industry!  We were looking over the flavors and talking about how we missed Braums, and the lady asked where we lived.  When we told her, she began to explain the company model and how no store is more than eight hours away from the dairy.  That is how they keep such a great product on the shelf.  They have a whole line of dairy products, and the eggnog at Christmas always finds its way to our house.  It is simply a good product, and now I know why!

It is not because the dairy is less than eight hours away.  I am sure that helps with freshness and labor issues.  But there is no doubt that the reason the product is good is because they care enough to teach their employees, even the minimum wage earners on the late shift, the purpose for their existence.  Those people know why they are there and what the company vision is.

As leaders, we often do not take the time to share the vision and purpose below the first tier of leaders.  Everyone else just has to guess.  Sometimes they can figure it out.  Sometimes they make up their own purpose.  Either way, it is a reckless and lazy way to lead.

Do the people you lead know your heart?  Do they know where you want to go...and why?  As leadership guru John Maxwell puts it, "If you are out front leading, and no one is following, you are simply taking a walk."