As the first days of this New Year tick off our calendars, we may wonder what the future holds for us and our beloved restaurant industry. Some greet 2010 with great anticipation, delighted at the prospect of change. Others may dread the coming year, fearful of “what’s next?” Many more will just purpose to aim down the same path with their heads down, aware of the calendar change but unwilling to stop long enough to seek anything new or different. But that is precisely what we must do; dream and plan! Whether you meet this New Year with delight, dread or disregard, before you is an opportunity to map out the future you desire. But there are purposeful, planned steps you need to take to achieve your professional and personal best in the coming months. Some are easy, others require effort but all are well worth it. The steps involve dreaming, goal-setting, planning and casting your vision to others.
To better understand the process, imagine you’re the head coach of a ho-hum college football team. Your dream might be to one day take your powerhouse team to a BCS Bowl game. That won’t mean much to you or anyone else unless you make that an actual goal. Making it a goal sets things in motion. Next, you make plans, action steps to actually achieve the needed standards: You might bring on new special teams coaches (a COO with a reputation for turning a brand around) to amp up your playbook. You may find new ways to grow the program and recruit cream-of-the-crop players (read, “Call Brian”). You could look to other teams & coaches (restaurant brands and industry leaders) who have gone to the Rose Bowl ahead of you and model your program after their success. Sure, there will be setbacks. Your star quarterback may tear his shoulder ligament. But have a plan for those times as well. See the “unforeseen,” and have a backup and “backup” backup quarterbacks (progression planning). The very game itself is a small scale model of goal setting and planning: The objective: Get the ball into the end zone more times and score more points than the other guys. The plan - take it at least ten yards at a time every 4 downs….time after time. One last and immensely important component: you must sell your dream to your coaching staff, your players, your backers and even the fans in the stadium. Cast the Vision for them. Everyone needs to be on board. They all need to be in it all the way; they have to know they are a critical part of the success of the effort. They must own it with you. With ownership comes pride and purpose. The fans in the stands who strip down to their skivvies in zero degree temps and paint themselves bright orange - they are SOLD man! They believe! They share the vision. Do you have fans like that right now?
Start with a dream, identify the goals, and move forward with great planning. Done consistently and persistently, you could be marching into downtown Pasadena before you know it.
In this series we’ll take an in-depth look at the process of goal setting: from dream to goal to plan to reality. We’ll hear from successful business leaders who live by it and lay out the steps necessary to begin.
Dreams - All great ideas start there. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of one day seeing people of all races united as one. He spoke to our nation of his dreams with conviction and passion. Those dreams caught fire and a social revolution began. From works of art, literature & cinema, creation starts first with a dream. Stephen Spielberg puts it well, “I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.” And from George Bernard Shaw, “You see things and say, 'Why?", but I dream things and say, 'Why not?”
Admittedly, in the high-velocity restaurant industry world, we may tend to think of dreamers as lazy, out of work bums who need a haircut and a reality check. But change the wording to “visionary,” and a hero is born. Okay, so be a visionary! Envision the ideal. Imagine your brand and its future. Think in terms of your business and yourself. Go BIG with it! In dreams, not only are seeds planted but great orchards sprout up. In this stage, the sky is the limit! Spend some time on this part. Remember this stage is your foundation. Don’t over analyze or be critical here. Napoleon Hill recognized the importance of dreaming: “Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” Those “blueprints” are crucial to your future and your plan. Remember, not so long ago, it was hard to find a good cup of coffee, now there’s a shop on nearly every corner, in every mall and in almost every airport. Someone dreamed big!
As you do this, be sure to write down your dreams. Catch them on paper. If it will benefit you, call in others from your inner circle to bounce around the ideas. Don’t let the naysayer in though. In this stage, dreamers - visionaries - only please. For inspiration, look to other leaders and companies you admire. It’s okay to say, “I want to be like them.” It’s even better to declare, “I want to be bigger or better than they are!” As Les Brown quips, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.
I’ll leave you to your dreaming. Next, we’ll look at how to harness those big dreams. For more restaurant career advice, read here.
Brian Bruce is an Executive Restaurant Recruiter with Premier Solutions in Oklahoma City and Blogger. Author of multiple articles published on many websites and several industry trade publications, he has been cited in multiple news stories as an authority in Executive Restaurant Recruiting. He can be reached at 877-948-4001, by email at HeadHunterBrian@gmail.com , or on his blog at HeadHunterBrian.com .