Leadership Qualities: Egg Timers and Diet Coke

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Hour Glass isolated on white backgroundI crave fountain Diet Cokes so much that if you ever can’t find me check the McDonald’s drive though first.

I am there way more frequently than I should admit. Let’s just say that I’m cruising through those Golden Arches often enough to know when something changes.

Today, I spotted one of the smartest changes I’ve seen in a long time when it comes to leadership and effectively flipping an undesirable behavior into a productive, and most likely profitable, one.

As I finished handing over my $1.09 and exchanging pleasantries with my buddy Ben in the pay window, he handed me a small plastic egg timer.

Hmm, this is new.

Ben told me that there was a minute on the timer and if my food (ok, my drink) wasn’t handed to me before all of the sand ran out, I had a free burger coming my way.

I had to laugh because before he had even finished describing the timer’s purpose, I saw my Diet Coke jutting out from the food window ahead.

It’s no secret that McDonald’s has identified improving drive through performance and speed of service as a key management goal.

I’ve subliminally noticed their service ‘countdown clock’ above the food window for years now. And in December, they announced they were trimming the menu to help improve performance.

As a customer, I took that announcement as a negative.

But the egg timer. Brilliant leadership came up with that one.

With a quick one-two punch, whoever put those shimmering grains of sand in the hands of front line staff made a corporate objective tangible, specific, and immediate to their own people while simultaneously signalling to their customer, ‘we got this. We know you want to get through here faster and we have made it a priority.’

They made me, their loyal customer, tangibly see their efforts to serve me better.

A leader’s ability to change a negative behavior into a positive one comes down to setting a goal for higher performance, communicating the desired outcome clearly, engaging people to get it done, and demonstrating how success looks in very tangible, specific, and immediate ways.

Bravo, McDonald’s.

Sandi Coryell  is a global Leadership Speaker and Consultant who works with executives and entrepreneurs to help them get the best out of themselves and their teams so that they can improve creativity, collaboration, and profitability.

If you’d like to book Sandi to speak at your next event or to have a conversation about how she could help improve your leaders’ performance, please email at sandicoryell@thecoryellgroup.com

To discover where you might have leadership gaps that are holding back your team’s performance, take this free leadership assessment here http://www.thecoryellgroup.com/theLeadershipMasteryAssessment/

Sandi Coryell
Keynote Speaker and Leadership Consultant Sandi Coryell works with leaders who want to bring out the best in their teams and themselves so that they can improve their creativity, teamwork, and bottom line. For Speaking or Consulting inquiries, please contact Sandi at 818-288-3483 or email at sandicoryell@thecoryellgroup.com

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