Beware of the Success Syndrome
Years back when I played the game of restaurant management. I represented one chain in particular that had all these theories that we would receipt and adhere to. One, in particular, was called the Success Syndrome.
The Success Syndrome was essentially this; In the restaurant, the food would always come out fresh, fast and hot, ticket times would consistently be checked to adhere to these standards. The restaurant would always be clean, there were standards in place of how often the restrooms were checked for cleanliness, everyone took ownership and would bend down to pick up that small piece of paper off the floor. The waiters, waitresses, and bartenders were always cheerful and pleasant. Their product knowledge was tops. A great experience was created.
Because of all these combined ingredients, the customer enjoyed the experience of patronizing the restaurant. They were happy, they would come back more often, they would tell their friends. Because of these result the restaurant sales continued to grow. Soon the restaurant was making continuous records in both sales and profits. The waiters, waitresses, and bartenders were all taking home good money. Ownership and management were happy.
Then somehow those standards began to slip ever so slightly. The food did not come out as fresh, fast and hot, because ticket times weren’t consistently being measured. The restaurant wasn’t always clean, the standards of how often the restrooms were checked for cleanliness weren’t adhered to. Those who took ownership previously would no longer bend down to pick up that small piece of paper off the floor because others weren’t doing it. The waiters, waitresses, and bartenders began to get a little arrogant in making it about them and just chasing the tips opposed to creating the experience.
Soon, sales began to erode and management was sitting around trying to figure out what happened. What happened was that they all fell victim to the Success Syndrome. They stopped doing the little things that got them to the top.
Think of a professional athlete who rose to the top of his or her game. They obviously put in a lot of hard work and hours of practice to get them to where they are. Then in the grand lights of the center stage, they achieved greatness. However, some as we know don’t handle greatness that well, they get complacent, they think it’s all about them. They stop being humble, forget what got them there and stopped doing those little things they did before to actually achieve that level of excellence. They are now struggling and are in a slump. How did it happen? They simply fell victim to the Success Syndrome.
In business and in life, don’t ever stop your quest for doing the things of getting slightly better each and every day. Stay humble, consistently practice everything that got you where you are today. Consistently test, measure and tweak all the little things to consistently move forward. Never stop articulating your organizational mission and purpose to the team as this keeps us all aligned with the vision. Stay consistent with your weekly meetings and communication. Just simply stay in tune with the level of excellence and execution that got you where you are today. Do this and you, your team and your organization will not fall prey to the Success Syndrome.