Canadian Pizza Magazine

Just Pizza: If you lead they will follow

By Wayne Rempel   

Features Business and Operations Staffing

If you lead they will follow

Are you tired of coming to work in the morning and finding things are not done the way they should be?

Are you tired of coming to work in the morning and finding things are not done the way they should be?

We all know as owners or managers or both we cannot be at work from morning until close. We have to be able to leave and trust that the people working for us will do their job. I know it is not always easy, but if you are overworked, it will have a negative impact not only on you, but also on your employees and your business.

I frequent a number of pizza-related bulletin boards and I was astounded to read a fellow pizzeria owner’s method of dealing with his staff. Basically, this is part of what he said: “I degrade them, let them know how useless they are and I don’t do it quietly, I do it in front of as much staff as I can assemble before I blow my top and I’m a really great boss because the people that are there know it’s to protect them and to make sure they stick around, I do not have a babysitting business and I do not give second chances.”


Now, I know we all have our own style of management and we all do things differently, but why would you ever degrade someone? Even when I have to terminate people I do it in a compassionate way and I try to make it so when they leave my premises they still respect me – even though they may not like me. I do know treating people badly won’t help you get what you want.

So how do you get people to do what you want them to do?

I believe it is through leadership. You have great ideas, a clear vision, and you are out to change the world but you have a problem … no one is following you.

Here are ways to connect with your people and have them follow your lead:

Think like the other person

You can motivate people if you appeal to what they desire or want.

First, you need to remember that old saying: “People do not care what you know until they know that you care.” Great leaders win the trust of people through their identification with them. To identify with your people you must not set yourself apart from them but become one of them.

Show some humility

So you think you are better than your people? No wonder why they don’t follow you.

Humility is what makes a good leader that people will want to follow and want to please.

People who rule with an iron fist usually rule out of anger and a big ego. When those things are stripped away, they have nothing left.

They say most great leaders are ones that have been thrust into the role, rather than one who seeks to rule because they desire power. Rudy Giuliani was a prime example of this on 9/11. He was already leading a whole city, but he truly shone when the tragedy of the terrorist attack hit New York City. He was humbled and became like one of his people, it was truly his best time as a leader.

You do not have to be better than someone else to be a leader – you just have to be more willing.

The most effective way to lead and have people follow you is to keep things simple.

Nothing makes it harder for people to follow then vague, disorganized and complex strategies. Be clear and organized with what you want people to do so that they will align themselves to your way of doing things. Always be flexible but only when it makes sense and don’t budge if it is something that makes the task easier but doesn’t have the outcome you are looking for.

Control the emotions

So how do you present yourself as a leader so people will do what you want?

First don’t be overly emotional. Emotion shows passion, which is good, but you can go overboard. Overly passionate people are believable but they don’t make good leaders.

People don’t want to follow someone that is overly emotional. Never yell at someone, you will immediately lose his or her respect and people become defensive and will not listen to what you have to say.

Show some respect

Respect everyone; belittling people does not make them smaller, it makes you smaller. You will have more people follow you not because you show them how great you are, show them how great they are.

You don’t need people to believe in you, make them believe in themselves and they will want to follow your direction.

So now that you have them following you, you need their commitment.

Give them responsibility. Ask for their input when you need it but also take the lead when you have to. Sometimes you have to dictate but you must balance it out.

Wayne Rempel owns and operates JP’s in Lacombe, Alberta. He has been in the foodservice business for 20 years. Wayne also consults and does seminars for the hospitality industry. Have any questions or comments? E-mail Wayne at .

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