Monday, June 29, 2009

Leadership in a Cup of Coffee

The other morning (what other morning? I'm not really sure) I had a thought, as I sometimes do, and it went like this:

"Huh? I'm leading a training weekend for a day camp. I'm a 'director' of something. I really don't think I could have done any of this if I hadn't been a shift supervisor at Starbucks."

Actually, I probably needed to be a shift supervisor at Starbucks for a long time--as I was--to have acquired any of these skills at all. It took me about a year in that position to feel remotely confident to tell other people (especially people older or with more experience than I had) what to do on a shift, and just as long to figure out how to assign tasks and make sure everything that was supposed to happen, actually did.

Even though I was really nervous about Saturday, and even though I did need to get some help from Back-up Liz (the person who did a lot of this stuff before me and backs me up and bails me out fairly frequently) in organising the schedule, I put together the staff assignments, and I knew what components of the camp day I wanted to run through, and I actually led an entire group of people through an entire day . . .

Okay, sure, it wasn't like military boot camp or anything. I'm not that organised or that directive, and I doubt I ever will be, but I'm just saying. I think I did my job and I think I did pretty well at it, and I think a lot of that has to do with being a shift supervisor at Starbucks.

All that to say, if you're an employer and someone applies for a job at your company and the most significant adult work experience they have is being a shift supervisor at Starbucks? They might not be the one for you. But then again . . . they might. Just don't write them off.


heather said...

Never know what God is going to use!
(Love the "What other morning?"--I do that all the time.)
I know I haven't commented here for a while, but I'm still reading!

Caroline said...

Ha I hope that my shift supervisor experience will help me get a "real" job someday!
Also... I frequently channel my shift training when looking to effectively communicate.
Oh Starbucks, so like life.

Jenn said...

Heather--and THAT is REALLY what "all that" was to say. Thanks for still reading! I was just thinking about you the other day and feeling a little sad/guilty that we have, in one sense or other, lost touch.

Caroline--thanks for reading, too! Yeah . . . "what what why" . . . ;) All the best in the search for the Real! Are you still at Sbux, btw?