I love this article that Nation’s Restaurant News recently published on the life and success of Norman Brinker, who recently passed away. I really enjoyed his perspective on mentoring people. Evidently, the people who worked with him appreciated him, too.
And I’ve enjoyed more than a few good meals at Chili’s, On the Border and Maggiano’s. Thanks, Norman. Here’s the excerpt I like best:
In a 2007 interview, Brinker talked about his skills that made him successful. “I care about people,” he said. “I want them to do better and to extend their abilities. I’m determined in my mind to help them do the best they can do. And want them to have fun. I’ve always tried to make work like play and play like hell.
“Mentors care about people,” Brinker continued. “They want see them succeed and get ahead. If they choose to leave, you don’t have to like it but you wish them well. You have long-standing relationships with people. I look back at people in my restaurants and many of them remain good friends.”
The people he worked with, Brinker added, were honest and smart. He quipped, with his hearty chuckle: “Remember: Sinners can repent, but stupidity is forever.”
As for his position as a pioneer in the industry, Brinker said: “I think my legacy is attracting quality people and having them go on and do things on their own or as a group. Training and teaching them how to do it.”
Other industry leaders have a similar role to nurture their successors, Brinker said. “There is a real responsibility there to keep on mentoring their followers,” he said. “That’s the only way we can keep things going. All of us want things to be bigger and better and in a direction where people can have fun.”
For the complete article, visit: http://bit.ly/144Lse.