Byron's Babbles

Imagine A Place Where Everyone Is A Leader!

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Greatest Waitress Ever Jenn Becknell With David Marquet and I!

Earlier in the week I had the incredible honor of having dinner with my friend and leadership “idol” David Marquet. David is the author of Turn The Ship Around and developer of Intent Based Leadership™. He is making a cross country bike ride with a group and had a rest layover in Indianapolis, so it enabled us to get together. In a later post I will probably talk more about our great conversation and all the insight I gained from this great man, but for now I want to tell you about our dinner and the insights we gained.

David has a great thing he likes to do when at a restaurant – let the waitress pick his entrée’s. I knew this so I suggested we do this for our meal. I was hoping he would agree even though we were at my very favorite restaurant and Indianapolis icon Harry and Izzy’s. David agreed immediately and gave our waitress, Jenn Becknell, his intro that he is a control freak and that part of his treatment is to let the waitress pick his meal. I have to set you straight though; David is not a control freak and is the inventor of Intent Based Leadership™. He is anything but a control freak. Anyway, he gave the waitress his one boundary and I told her that I really didn’t have any boundaries except maybe not being the fondest of chicken.

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Harry & Izzy’s Shrimp Cocktail!

At first Jenn looked at us a little funny and was a little taken aback, but quickly warmed to the idea. We could then very quickly tell that she was going to have fun with this. I was so impressed with David because when asked about a drink he even told Jenn to pick his wine. Now that is Intent Based Leadership™ at its best. We had truly empowered Jenn to serve us and put the best foot forward for Harry and Izzy’s for my friend who was from Florida and eating there for the first time. Long story short, it was the best and most enjoyable meal I have ever had. We had no idea what Jenn would be bringing us and each time she came out with something different it was incredible. Keep in mind we didn’t even look at the menu. We started with the signature Shrimp Cocktail, of course. I am going to ask Jenn to add a comment to this blog and tell you what she brought us out to eat. The point is, however, that as David and I walked back to my truck we both commented that there was no way we would have picked as great a meal as Jenn did. Particularly, we would not have picked the bread pudding dessert that just put us in heaven to end the meal.

FullSizeRenderSo what does it mean to practice intent based leadership? I have included a slide here from David Marquet’s website that gives all the important points of intent based leadership, but I believe there are two that really apply here for both Jenn Becknell and Harry and Izzy’s. First of all it is obvious that Jenn has been empowered to: “Feel inspired, by pushing control and decision-making down the organization people take responsibility and have the authority to rise to the occasion, even during times of change.” Jenn certainly rose to the occasion and was a tremendous ambassador for Harry and Izzy’s. Thus providing David and I the time of our lives. This was such powerful evidence as to why intent based leadership works.Indy_Downtown-sml

Furthermore, Harry and Izzy’s are modeling that, “the organization’s success should be on the shoulders of all people and not simply the top “leaders” of the organization.” It is clear that this top Indianapolis restaurant has empowered their entire staff to “make it so” for customers. I can tell you a large portion of Harry and Izzy’s success is due to the great staff! Harry and Izzy’s is about great food, but is even more about the experience. Do your people feel valued and proud of the work they are doing for your organization?

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  1. […] and intent based leadership, we practiced it. I wrote about what I like to do already this week in “Imagine A Place Where Everyone Is A Leader!” Click here to read the post. I literally would not let our group even look at the menu and […]

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