How do you treat your waiters?

Mar 28 2008 by Print This Article

One of the biggest indicators of your ability to lead might just be how well, or poorly, you treat your wait-person at your local restaurant, an idea discussed in this USA Today article by Del Jones.

In fact, the article states that BMW North America President Tom Purves has said that the rule about waiters "is bang spot on." Other CEOs have also acknowledged this connection and have stated that you should, "beware of anyone who pulls out the power card to say something like, 'I could buy this place and fire you,' or 'I know the owner and I could have you fired.'

The type of person who throws their weight around like this has revealed far more about their character than about their wealth and power.

It turns out the first CEO to come up with this observation about waiters was Raytheon CEO, Bill Swanson. He wrote a booklet of 33 different observations about what it takes to be a good leader called "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management."

One of the key rules is, "A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person."

So, if you are thinking you are ready for the top office with the great view, you may want to pause and look at how you last tipped or treated that waiter or waitress. If you were nice to them, maybe you are ready for that move up the ladder. If you prefer to be rude to people surviving on tips, you may need to work on yourself a little bit longer.