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Bad Leader/ Good Employee

I was working at a sandwich place as a manager and I came across an employee who would just stand around and wait for people to tell her what to do. I kept redirecting her and asking her to do multiple tasks hoping that she would get the ideas of keeping busy. After several days of doing this I was getting irritated that she was not taking initiative and so I had to sit down and talk to her. So we sat down and as I was telling her what I was expecting she seemed confused. So I decided to asked her what she was thinking. She felt offended, all this time she thought she was doing a great job, she thought that whenever she was asked to do something she was quick to complete the task. So who was right? Me or her? Both of us, but as a leader I had failed... I hadn’t communicated correctly what my expectations were for her as an employee and team member. Once she knew that she could take initiative with tasks she became a super star employee and it taught me a lot about leadership.

Lessons learned:

  • Ask questions first before assuming someone is doing a bad job.

  • Listen to people, they can help you fix a problem.

  • Set clear expectations from the start and again ask questions to make sure they understand.

  • Don’t assume the worst of people. Think positive and find a solution.

  • Often others are not the problem, but the problem comes from thinking they are.

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