I once heard that there are generally two types of people. Builders & Climbers. Deep down if you were to assess your values you would be one or the other.
Climbers are the type to look out for número uno. The "how can I get to the top and who do I have to beat out to do so". The whatever it takes to be making the most or getting the cred, type. These people can be superstars to those outside looking in, but they have no interest in helping others. Success stems on a singular goal, make myself more awesome. Make my legacy.
These people can be good people in general, don't get me wrong, but they typically aren't able to be be best version of themselves. They are missing a major element. Making more of themselves. They are too internally focused to spread the love.
If we ever want to be respected, known, or to grow we must stop looking out for our individual legacies. We need to be looking holistically at our entire industry to teach, support and progress.
I think it's natural for us to want to be climbers. The world is full of people who have been taken advantage of and walked on. We must stop believing that the only way to make something special is by self serving. See also, service, it's not about us.
I think we need more builders, more supportive leaders.
Think about it like this. If you put your effort into growing others, making superstars, and letting them do big things for your company or store you win. Yes, you don't get the credit at first, your superstars do. Guess what though, your superstars will never say they were self made if you help make them. The credit will come one day. Be patient.
I am calling on builders. I wanna see more.
Builders want to get to the top too. They are ambitious. The difference is, they want others to rise to the top with them. They want to make strong supports that allow for collaboration and growth on so many levels that you make a monument. An empire.
This takes vision, leadership and intentionality. You must know before you start a business what you want out of it. Then you must lead & teach by example.
I am tired of everyone opening companies to make "the best coffee", to offer a "unique experience". Sure those things are great.....and singular.
There are enough of us to start collaborating and understanding business, roasting, prep, quality, sourcing, service & build outs. Why don't we?
Being the one person in a company or industry who can make something big happen means that when you move on, nothing happens. Everything falls apart. Dramatic. Everything CAN fall apart.
My people, this will work. Humans all have genius qualities in them. They need to be supported, they need to be allowed to fail, to learn AND they need to be in a supported place of coaching. The payoff will be insane.
Sure, the people you grow may not open more cafes, but they will learn valuable skills to move the Industry forward and they will willingly help you succeed! Because they are truly valuable, doing something important and learning.
Beyond that. How many companies grow organically, truly. All the "Big" companies in coffee...did they set the plan and grow the original employees up or are all the top dogs therein from other industries or outside companies? Was their vision strong enough to keep the believers? Was it something else?
The company that starts with the philosophy of the builder will have a high percentage of people doing pivotal things for them. This is my belief.
If we are leaders, builders, we need to figure out what we want to achieve, set some values, standards, a mission statement and get going. Let your people be free to produce their own interpretation of your vision with the guard rails of your values and standards, then go kill it. It may happen slightly differently than you planned but the buy in from staff will be huge. The success will be real. The loyalty will be out of this world and who knows maybe you'll make something no one has seen yet.
We need bold leaders to think beyond themselves and try unique things.
When my business gets up and running it will be about building. Not to expand for profit solely, but to teach, grow & plant. To bring a community together. I dream to offer that take on this craft. I aim to teach people to go out and spread specialty coffee with the foundation of understanding their business as well as our craft in such a way that they may be successful. Their success will then be mine. Be specialty coffee's. If you love specialty coffee for more than just money & a "fun" job then dare to build. It will be infectious enough to spread and become something special. I guarantee it.
...I know I ranted. Sheesh.