Leaders CREATE Capacity

Leaders Create Capacity  

My twelve year old daughter made something so crystal clear for me a couple of weeks ago. The Thursday prior to the Super Bowl, we had a conversation on the way to and from soccer practice. She felt overwhelmed with a lot of homework and a big science fair project due on Monday. It “wasn’t fair” because the Super Bowl was on Sunday and a cousin was coming to sleep over, and she wouldn’t get to enjoy all of the family time and fun.

Doing my best to empathize and propose a solution, I urged her to push through the urge to relax on Friday after school. I promised her that if she worked on all of her homework on Friday night and diligently on Saturday, she would have a clear conscience and this would be the best Super Bowl Sunday of her young life.

To my delight, she followed my counsel. She took her time and prepared a beautiful science fair presentation. You could tell that it was not rushed. It was really polished. She was proud of her accomplishment and we celebrated a job well done.

But the “aha moment” came on Sunday morning. While my wife and I were preparing for a few guests to arrive to watch the big game, my daughter announced: “I’m going to clean the basement. What should I use on the coffee table, 409 or Windex?” That moment opened up the opportunity for me to discuss a leadership principle with my daughter: Leaders create capacity.

By doing her job well and getting it done ahead of schedule, she opened up her capacity to serve. If she was caught up in her emotions because she feared missing the fun because of homework that was not finished, the thought to clean the basement would never have crossed her mind. By getting her job done, she created capacity to serve her family.

How about you? Are you missing out on the blessing of serving others and growing professionally because you cannot get your work done when it needs to get done?

It is a basic leadership tenet, but to be effective you must plan your work and work your plan. Almost every time we take a job order for a unit-level Manager or Chef, the hiring authority will say something like, “I want the Manager on the floor during peak service times.” Duh. This company must have hired Managers who were coding invoices or writing schedules when they should have been touching tables.

The best leaders put up boundaries and have the ability to politely disengage from time-wasting conversations or activities so that they can do what they need to do when it needs to be done. By doing so, they create capacity to serve, bless, learn, and grow.


SHS practices THE CRAFT OF CURATING TALENT.  SHS’s mission is to transform excellence-driven companies that deliver a high degree of service in food and beverage verticals such as restaurants, hotels, manufacturers, and distributors.  The Illinois-based agency provides expert talent-acquisition for businesses nationwide.  They empower leaders to achieve higher levels of success by solving cultural challenges such as recruiting exceptional talent; defining organizational purpose; improving employee retention, engagement, and performance; implementing impactful communication practices; and much more.  SHS artfully helps you develop a more aligned work environment, resulting in increased profitability and amplified innovation.  To find out more, visit www.shs.jobs.

Joseph D’Alessandro

About Joseph D’Alessandro

Joseph spent 15 years in leadership positions in hospitality operations before becoming a full-time executive recruiter in 2000. Joseph founded SHS in 2002 and has grown the business from a one-person outfit to a full team of dedicated experts.