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Let's Talk Football
By Jeffrey Summers

Restaurant number 1 has a GM/Owner who, like the great Coach on a very good football team, is on the sidelines watching every play, calling the plays, coaching the team through the series of plays that will lead to winning the game, and living the game through the actions of his team, one play at a time.

Ever see Don Shula on the sidelines? He had one of the most intense gazes. You would always find Coach Shula focused every play, kneeling, squatting or standing intently on the yard line marker of where the ball was placed, watching each player execute his Coaching. Sending in every play. Giving feedback about everything he could to everyone he needed to in order to get the results he demanded.

All this, every second of every game. Rewarding great players who executed great plays, as well as redirecting poor performance as it happened, before it had a chance to taint the rest of the team's effort to lose the game. If they won, he praised the performances that led to the victory, rewarded outstanding individual efforts as well, and then began to prepare for the next game almost as immediately as the gun signaled the end of the current one. If they lost, he praised great performances and rewarded outstanding individual efforts as well, and then redirected poor performances so that those players could, in the next game, contribute to the team's effort to win it.

Winningest Coach in NFL history! The only Coach with a totally undefeated season! Several Super Bowl Rings! I think he has a restaurant or two as well.

Compare that to the team in last place. Everybody wanting to call their own plays. Lots of penalties due to frustrations by players. No momentum gained at any point and seemingly no GamePlan! or team strategy. Lots of yelling by the Coach and tempers flaring.

Player in fighting and finger pointing as to who is responsible for lackluster performances. Low morale. Players wanting to be traded or have their contracts renegotiated. Draftees not wanting to play for the team. Are you getting the drift here?

Coaches must set expectations and performance standards in the beginning. Next, the Coach must be focused on watching each player on the field during every play in order to give feedback and support. Not pointing out every action to perform, but guiding then encouraging each player to execute their training 100%.

Lastly, Coaches need to reward behavior through the measured results of active, participative goal setting as well as through individual performances. Failing to execute on the Coaches part is usually related to a failure to deliver 99% of these Coaching responsibilities. And every time I analyze a bad restaurant, it inevitably falls to these causes for the reasoning behind the poor results.

Jeffrey Summers is Head Coach of Summers Hospitality Group, a coaching and consulting company for restaurants, bars and hospitality businesses.

Related Articles:

  • It's The People Stupid!
  • Coaching Every Play
  • The Difference Between Management and Leadership

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