From cover-to-cover of Made From Scratch you’ll learn the leadership lessons of the late Kent Taylor, founder of the restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse.
In the new book, Taylor recounts how he built the restaurant chain from the ground up after being rejected more than 80 times as he pitched the idea for the business.
His approach to business was often out-of-the-box, however, his business lessons and leadership lessons from the course of his life and career are invaluable.
Here are some of my favorite leadership lessons from Kent and his book:
The best leaders stay down-to-earth and approachable.
In a bottom-up company, the leader learns from frontline people.
As soon as you make a profit, find a way to give back.
Be willing to laugh at yourself.
Become a student of your craft.
Positive reinforcement inspires much greater performance than fear ever can.
Want to get the respect of your people? Then roll up your sleeves and do the most menial of tasks.
If you have an employee with ambition, find a way to give them some autonomy and support and see what happens.
Regular, consistent one-on-ones with each staff member are the best way to get to know your people, understand their frustrations, grasp any interpersonal issues on the team, and help them achieve their goals.
If your people have ideas, listen to them, thank them, and consider them. Then let them know what you decided—even if it’s a no-go.
If everyone who works for you can’t recite your mission and values, it’s your fault as a leader, not theirs. Throw it out and start again. Keep it simple.
Be the most positive person in the room.
Hire for spirit, spunk, and enthusiasm (then train for skill).
Develop a genuine interest in the knowledge of others.
Focus on individuals and capabilities, not titles.
And, finally, Taylor writes that when he thought of leadership that meant:
- Good listening skills
- Effective communication
- Clear vision
Thank you to the books’ publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.