One of those leadership road hazards that most of us hit head-on at times is thinking that we have it all figured out and know all the answers. We spring to conclusions, discount ideas, and generally don’t listen either intentionally or not. Now, I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I actually had an original thought. Don’t take that last remark as bad as I feel after typing it. What I mean is, think about it! Where do you get the ideas you implement every day? Here are the original points of information as I can recall them.

Parents – think about it, all those years of engrained nurturing behavior had to have had some impact on you, right?

Kindergarten – let’s face it, everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten anyway!

School – you may have tried not to pay attention for all those years, but trust me, some of it got through.

Friends – those are the people you learned things from that you didn’t have to be embarrassed you didn’t know.

Books – you know this is the original "not your idea anyway but add it to your databanks for later use” method.

Mentors – those people that you admire most and everything out of their mouth has instant credibility.

Google – it may not have told you what you needed to know but it sent you in the right direction…..

Life experience – it has happened to you already and you have stored the decisions you made for adjustment the next time it happens.

My point…..

As the leader in your organization or group you have a responsibility to understand that you are just the guide to your people’s brilliance. When you are faced with decisions ask your people about the best solution. Your team had different parents, went to different schools, have different mentors, and have “Googled” different things, so I can assure you, they have different ideas. Your advantage is you get to listen to all the brilliant ideas and then chose the best one!

That is your only true privilege as the leader.

Views: 0

Tags: Leadership, Restaurant, Swingley, Training


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Pat Jack on June 26, 2009 at 8:29pm
My experiences in New Orleans over the last 7 years have yielded absolutely NO persons in management or ownership positions who care one tiny bit what one of their experienced workers has to say about anything.

When ever I have offered assistance to management or ownership in New Orleans restaurants it has ALWAYS been met with a high degree of intimidation and has marked me as a trouble maker and a know it all.

Please disclaim this statement as all of my statements here on fohboh must be disclaimed that I am speaking from my experience in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It seems that once people get to a level of ownership or management they simply don't want to hear what others have to say ... ESPECIALLY if it has merit.

Comment by Ty Sullivan on June 26, 2009 at 5:19am
Great stuff Andy. I have to say I do rely on the input of others a great deal. I have always believed in the "tinkers thinkers" mentality that every mind in the collective will make the final outcome that more coherent and logical. Now, can we rely on, like Google, to provide us with even more answers? We shall see. I can't help it when I hear that it's a Bing Crosby Tribute site, LOL (showed my age on that last comment!)
Comment by Andy Swingley on June 20, 2009 at 9:27am
Well said, Bartolomeu!
Comment by Andy Swingley on June 19, 2009 at 4:33am
Thanks Debra, Rod, and John! I appreciate your comments.
Comment by John Scroggins on June 18, 2009 at 2:20pm
Great post, Andy - makes me think about those sources I rely upon - and when those sources are mentors, co-workers, friends, etc., making a better effort to tell them what a source of inspiration they are. I had a great education and learned many things, but what I remember most about school, at every level, are the teachers - the personalities, how they motivated students, where they found inspiration. Thanks for reminding me!

Comment by Rod Guinn on June 18, 2009 at 9:18am
It's often said "you are what you eat." A broader, more accurate phrasing might be "you're the sum of all you've consumed" (or heard, or seen, or read, ...). Once we realize that each of us, even standing alone, is effectively a committee, it makes sense to take and guide the contributions of all team members to achieve something greater than any lone individual could accomplish.
Thanks for reminding us!




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Report: Consumers want more protein, need more education

A majority of U.S.  -More

California Walnut Beet Carpaccio Flatbread
Jump start their appetites with this fabulous flatbread appetizer topped with beets, goat cheese, arugula and California Walnuts. For this and more great recipes, visit

Vegetables take over dessert menus

Top pastry chefs in the U.S.  -More

Rising takeout demand drives new Mama Fu's footprint

Austin, Texas-based Mama Fu's Asian House debuted a smaller footprint unit focused on feeding a growing demand for takeout an -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

Arby's Announces Development Deals With New And Existing Franchisees

ARG recently sold 14 company-operated restaurants in Tampa, FL to Mosaic Investments, Inc. (Mosaic), a fully integrated investment firm based in Atlanta. In addition to remodeling existing locations slated to commence at the end of 2014, Mosaic has committed to build 13 new Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area over the next nine years.

Smoothie King Appoints Vice President Of Business Development To Drive Brand's Expansion Across The U.S.

Prior to joining Smoothie King, Bruno served as vice president of retail sales, operations and franchise development for Fannie May Fine Chocolates, a division of, where he oversaw a $69.5 million retail division that included 100 corporate stores and 45 franchised stores.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service