Leadership requires action, most days I find it is difficult to take lunch. I normally work through lunch without giving it a second thought. Recently, I have been making my best attempt to remember to eat lunch. Today was no different.
I do not particularly like to eat fast food. I try to avoid fast food restaurants when possible. Not only is fast food unhealthy, but it really doesn’t take much more to go out to eat at a restaurant that provides a higher quality of food. When possible, I make meals for the week and take them with me, so I have a healthy option close to me for lunch.
Today, I decided to go a Mexican restaurant. My order was perfect; healthy, inexpensive and high quality. I asked the waitress to make sure a certain ingredient was not in my food. She assured me there would not be any of this ingredient in my meal. While I was enjoying my meal, I found this ingredient toward the bottom of my plate. I am allergic to the ingredient that was toward the bottom of the plate.
Options to Deal with Problems
I have two options, remain clam or get upset at the waitress for not doing her job properly. I chose to remain calm! I always remain calm in these situations, because it is easy for others to make mistakes. I make mistakes.
Getting upset does not change a situation. Leaders deal with good situations and bad situations. Anyone can lead when things are going smoothly, but true character is shown when things go badly. Remaining calm and collected is what successful leaders do. Focusing on the big picture helps to mitigate the smaller issues. Leaders who focus on the big picture realize they are not able to control everything along the way. Instead, they can direct and redirect followers toward a desired outcome.
Ultimately, I may not feel good for the moment after eating something I am allergic to. But in the larger scheme of things, I feel good about my reaction. The restaurant remade my meal, did not charge me for my meal, nor the soda. I assured the restaurant there was no need for this, but they insisted and offered dessert, I did not allow them to provide dessert. I greatly appreciate the leadership of the restaurant. They took ownership of the issue and dealt with it. This restaurant has earned 5-stars in my mind.
Here’s a quick summary:
(1) Great leaders keep their character in place when situations go wrong and (2) take responsibility for their mistakes.