I was interviewing John Yokoyama, owner of world famous Pike Place Fish Market on my radio show over a decade ago. I still remember John Yokoyama telling me that they had a saying around the market and that saying was,
The fish stinks from the head!
“The fish stinks from the head!” Meaning, if something isn’t working in your business you need to look at yourself first. In other words, if employees aren’t providing exceptional customer service, you need to take a hard look at yourself as a leader before focusing on and blaming your team.
I remember arguing with my husband several years ago about our flooring remodel project. I was frustrated with him because I had asked him for some help with the project and he said, “No.” Instantly, I turned to blaming and criticizing him internally. But the Pike Place Fish Market saying came to mind so I chose to look at myself instead and ask, “What’s my part in this?”
I asked myself and instantly I knew what my part was. I wasn’t making it okay for him to say “no.” I was making him wrong. I realized that he truly did have freedom of choice. As soon as I realized that, I experienced my judgment lifting and I felt lighter.
I had a manager in one of my businesses that said one of her employees was coming to work and not interacting with the other employees. When I shared this principle with her, she was willing to look at herself and she realized she was afraid to approach him and have a direct conversation with him. She decided to talk to him and let him know that he could rely on the rest of the team and that the employees truly wanted him to be part of the team. She noticed an immediate difference in his attitude as he began to engage and interact with the rest of team.
Easy Action Step
Next time you feel frustrated with an employee and the results they are creating, instead of immediately going to blame and judgment (which you probably will, because you are only human after all!), catch yourself and ask yourself, “How is this employees actions and results a reflection of the way I am leading?” “What’s missing in how I’m showing up as a leader that would cause a breakthrough in this employee?” And notice your response and here’s the big part, TAKE ACTION!
P.S. Send me a quick email and tell me your biggest challenge that you have as a leader and leading your team. I REALLY want to know so I can write future posts and newsletters!
Here’s to YOU creating extraordinary results with your team in 2017!