Photo Credit: Photo taken of wall at Mount Berry Square Mall in Rome, Ga

Photo Credit: Photo taken of wall at Mount Berry Square Mall in Rome, Ga

“Honestly, I don’t care who you voted for, I just expect you to show up to work and treat everyone with honor, dignity, and respect.”

Anyone that works for me can tell you that the most important thing to me is that customers and fellow team members, are treated with honor, dignity, and respect. I am proud of the fact that we have many races, religions and different beliefs that work well together under the same roof.  I attribute this largely to the culture we have created in the restaurant.  I have absolutely zero tolerance for any form or harassment.  Several years ago, I told a team member, “I don’t care what your ideologies or religious beliefs are, I’m confident this will be a great place to work as long as your beliefs don’t cause actions that affect others around you.  Also, we can agree to disagree on some things, but if you try to force me or anyone else to believe how you believe things might not go so well.”  Our Country could use this reminder right now, we are free to believe how we want to believe, but problems start happening when people try to force their beliefs on others.  The late Reverend said it best…

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I can honestly say that I love everyone that works for me.  Now there are obviously different forms of love, I don’t love anyone else like I love my wife or my children.  However, there are some similarities about how I love my children and how I love my team members and I call it TOUGH LOVE!  I’m not talking about performance based love or “if you perform I will love you.”  Granted, I may like you a lot more if you are a high performer!

Tough love can still be unconditional, but love without accountability is blind.

Over the years I’ve had several team members that got the “tough conversation” because they were not treating others with honor, dignity, and respect.  It went something like this: “Look…you know I love you, but you can’t work here anymore.”  Oftentimes they would leave mad and come back days or even years later and thank me for making the hard call.  Some never got it, but several have thanked me for forcing them to grow up!

Treating people with honor, dignity and respect is agreeing to disagree with others that don’t believe like you; 

Maintaining your composure when upset;  

Thinking about how your actions will negatively affect others around you; 

And choosing not to act on those negative impulses. 

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