Recently, I had the luxury of staying at hotel the evening prior to a work meeting. Breakfast was included and I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that not only did they have an array of hot prepared foods, fresh fruit, and an assortment of teas, but they also had a young woman making fresh omelets.
I approached the omelet stand to order my breakfast and watched as this young woman made six perfect omelets before my very eyes. She platted them and handed them off to their new owner. Impressed with this woman’s omelet making skill, I said, “Wow! I make omelets a few times a week and I am never able to get them that perfect.”
She smiled at me (while making another perfect omelet) and said, “I make about 100 omelets a day- and I like the challenge of making as many look like-” she pauses, folds the omelet over, and slips another perfect one onto a fresh plate- “this as possible!”
This young woman’s smile has stayed with me and the more I reflect on the experience, the more I see these three leadership lessons truly standing out.
She prided herself on her work. She could have easily not been concerned with the perfection and presentation of her work yet she focuses, approximately 100 times a day, to give her customer her best.
She truly was enjoying her experience. She told me about all the unique people she meets and about how sometimes, towards the end of breakfast, she can only offer onion omelets since that is all she has left. She talked about how she likes coming to work because what she does helps people enjoy their hotel experience.
She created challenges for herself. There was no manager standing over her shoulder counting the number of near perfect verse not so great omelets she produced. Chances are she does not get many repeat clients and most people wouldn’t make a fuss if their omelet wasn’t perfect. She set the bar high for herself and every day she works to meet, or exceed, her own expectations.
Are you proud of the work you do every day? Do you have fun while doing it? Are you setting the bar high enough for yourself or are you waiting for external sources to set it for you?