Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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THE EDUCATED RETAILERS' GUIDE If we want to do great things in the world, if we want to have a great life, we're going to have a better shot at it if we treat ourselves with the same respect and dignity that we would treat others. point is the same—the people we all want to be around lead engaged—and engaging—lives. They have grounded, calming energy that others want to interact with and emulate. we're with a high-achieving group that's going for greatness, we're pretty likely to start going for greatness too. 3. We do our best work when part of a great organization. In my world at least, the service-focused folks are generally the ones who get to greatness. It's simple, I guess. You serve, you give freely, you help those around you, the world around you does better, you make a difference, you feel better, your life is better for it and so is that of everyone around you. Starting with a service mindset does not mean that any of us have to do exactly what everyone around us is asking us to do. This is about freely chosen activity, not about being actively forced into some sort of service submission. Service that's forced feels phony, and is ultimately doomed to failure. Service that's freely given will feel authentic, and will make significantly more good things happen. The importance of a service mindset isn't only about what we do for others—it's just as important that we serve ourselves as well. If we want to do great things in the world, if we want to have a great life, we're going to have a better shot at it if we treat ourselves with the same respect and dignity that we would treat others. I'm fortunate to be part of a healthy, creative, caring organization, one which is aligned with my values and whose vision is well in sync with my own. Of course it helps that I helped to start it 30 years ago—even though being part of a business in its early days is no guarantee of getting to greatness or even of being in business this far down the road. But clearly, I've contributed to making the Zingerman's Community of Businesses what it is; just as clearly, that Community has contributed greatly to bringing out so much good in me. I believe all of our lives will be better when we're part of great organizations. Abraham Maslow, one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, also believed this. He noted: "Good human beings will generally need a good society in which to grow." In other words, if we join an organization—or family or club—in which self-development is considered a sign of success, we stand at much higher odds of growing and developing, of going to great heights, both within ourselves and as part of our group. But when we're around others who are at peace with mediocrity, most of us will move toward the middle of the road as well. When we're surrounded by cynicism, eye rolls become an everyday activity. But when 4. To be successful, start with a service mindset. 5. To be great performers, we need to be clear about expectations. This one's easy to say but not so easy to do. The clearer we can be with ourselves about what we want and what we will and won't do, the easier it will be to succeed. 44 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com Lack of clarity about those expectations leads to lack of focus; lack of focus leads, inevitably, to diffusion of energy, which in turn brings on frustration and a feeling of failure. Making clear what we expect from ourselves—and learning to come clean with others about our expectations—can help to make everything we do more efficient and more effective. Other people may choose not to do what we've asked, and we need to honor their choices and negotiate openly. But having lived too long with hidden agendas and unspoken expectations, I can tell you my life is a lot more rewarding when I put things, courteously and appropriately, on the table. Even if you don't get it right all the time, it sure is a good framework for enriching pretty much any relationship. Being clear about what I want, who I am and where I'm going just makes life more rewarding. And in the process, decisions become easier to make. In the same vein, giving ourselves the resources to do what we need to do is important. If we don't surround ourselves with good people, if we don't get ourselves into a learning environment, if we don't feed our brains, we won't get far. 6. Successful people do the things that others know they should but generally don't. If we're achieving at a high level, this law's kind of a no brainer; everyone who's great at anything will almost always be doing all the little less-than-glamorous things that ultimately add up to success. The big stuff makes a difference but the import of these little "extra" things cannot be overstated. It's easy to understand that attempting to shoot more free-throws is going to increase your odds of making them, or that studying the art of making cocktails will make you a better bartender. The challenge is more a mental one—it can be difficult to hold to the internal discipline to do those little extra things; they're rarely glamorous in the moment, and they can be

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