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Week 2: Victim or Leader?

YOUR attitude is everything.

EVERYONE on your team is watching you.  They are deciding what matters, what they like, what they don’t like, and whether they are succeeding or failing based on what you say and do.

I have met people in the last 2 weeks that say they hate dishes and others say they like dishes.  Rachel in St Cloud last night said that one of the benefits of driving is that she “gets to do dishes”.  Which are you selling?

I have asked dozens of people “how much do drivers make here?”  I’ve had management people answer “$6.50” and I’ve had many drivers answer “more than $20 an hour”.  Which are you selling?

Yesterday I was talking to an exciting newer GM.  Very optimistic person with a truly good team with high energy and engagement.  Executing at a high level.  One of the challenges he’s addressing right now is getting a couple more closers.  He started to tell me how the conversation goes with potential closers in the interview.

His posture immediately changed; he acted sheepishly and glanced down and off to the side.  He said that he is blunt that you might not get off until 5AM.  He said that he tells them that he rotates closers as much as possible so that you “don’t have to do it all the time”.  His entire PITCH that he acted out was actually a big fat apology.  It was clear through his verbal and non-verbal communication that he thinks, or he thinks that others will think, that closing sucks.  Hmmm. 

Until this GM believes that closing is awesome (for people with that availability) and can sell it, the truth is that it WILL suck.  His leadership here is THE difference.  He can actually make it a great shift by making it so in every way.

Consider this:  “Listen, at a campus store like ours, the late and closing shifts are the busy, money shifts.  All the shifts and people matter, of course, but that group of people on the closing shift are truly the core of the engine that makes the whole store crank.  I have always loved closing.  Time flies late at night; people are partying and it gets rowdy and fun inside the store on the weekends.  At close we lock the doors, turn up the tunes and get everything put away and cleaned up.  It’s a great option for people that are late nighters already and don’t need to be up early in the morning.  I’ll be really flexible with your schedule needs and desires and we’ll definitely find what works for both of us.”

This is huge people.  I’ve had 3 important leaders in the last 2 weeks tell me that their goal is to “survive” or “get through the day”.  I’ve met other leaders in seemingly very similar circumstances express their optimism and point out their recent wins.  They talk about the people that they are developing and their goals “to be the highest volume store in the company” or to “be manager of the year”.  What person do you want to work for?  What person is actually going to be able to succeed overcoming the predictable obstacles that threaten to close in on them?

Who is a victim and who is a leader?

Many leaders don’t understand the enormous influence they are having on their teams, plain and simple.  Sometimes leaders don’t recognize that they incrementally got into a dark and toxic place and that they are accidentally poisoning the very water where they are drinking.

Who are you?  Who do you have working for you?  

See you out there.


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Scott Gittrich

Scott’s unwavering affection for pizza became a full-fledged love affair when he decided to drop out of college to focus on a career at Domino’s after only two weeks on the job. The gamble paid off as he worked his way up through the company’s system. He stayed focused on having a successful career in the restaurant industry and he decided to create a pizza concept, Toppers Pizza, which delivered unique, fresh food made from scratch that rivaled anything available. Pizza is the best food in the world, there’s nothing that’s as celebratory and fun as pizza. It brings people together like no other product on earth.


  1. Todd says:

    Just shared this with our leadership team, thank you for the reminder. Safe travels!

  2. Jennifer (JP) says:

    Closing at Toppers created some of my BEST college memories! And the money wasn’t bad either. 😉

  3. Courtney says:

    I am full time closer and I love it! I’m a night owel and I love to clean… I feel great when I can leave 3-5am and look around and see what the morning crew will walk into and know I did a dam great job! Feels great to be part of the team! I’d upload pictures however not sure how to do so!

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