Last night I enjoyed a dinner conversation with a Popeyes leader who oversees more than a dozen restaurants. In our chat, we were reflecting on how grateful we both were for the momentum in our business – and how blessed we felt to be a part of this company. I was so impressed with this person’s genuine love of the restaurant business. It led me to ask him to share a bit about his family history.
He told me about his grandparents. He had spent summers with them – working the land. Learning what hard work looks like. Learning what it means to serve others – the workers on the farm. Learning how to prepare food from the barn and the garden. A hard life in many ways, but a place to learn how to love others, do productive work, and treasure the simple things. He then said “I think this is where I learned my love for the restaurant business.”
And then I understood so much about the man – his values, his perspective, and his attitude. His mindset was “I can find joy in serving others, in working hard, and in treasuring life shared with the people in our restaurants.” Wow. I want to work for him. Wouldn’t you?
When I joined Popeyes in 2007, we were suffering from a lot of things. Discouragement, disappointment, skepticism, frustration, and more. Our employees had watched multiple leaders come and go without a turnaround of the business. Our franchise owners were exasperated at the poor performance. Our board wanted to know what was wrong. Our shareholders wanted their investment to provide a return.
We needed new results to be sure. But to get there, we also needed a new attitude. We needed to think freshly about our work. Why it is valuable? Why do we want to work hard to solve the problems? Why do we want to serve the Popeyes’ family well? Without a fresh mindset about the work, we would have been doomed to repeating history.
Is your attitude determining your altitude? What emotions do you have about your workplace today? How will your mindset affect your work today?