lt amazes me that you can talk about the same topic (Perspective) with a new person and gain completely new insights. This happened when I interviewed a friend and an incredible pie shop General Manager, Miranda Smith.
Miranda’s perspective is unique because for the first 7 years her career, she was working her way up at Dillard’s (large department store) and had multiple promotions and management roles under her belt. She started as a Floor Manager in Montgomery, AL working alongside her sales associates. She then received promotions and ended up at the Mall at Green Hills in Nashville, TN.
In 2018, she decided to take what she had learned in corporate retail and apply it to a pie making! She the General Manager of Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop. In 2018, they opened their first location in Murfreesboro, TN. One year later, they have opened a second location and I hear there may be a Pie truck in the works!
If you have never had a gourmet pie from Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, put it on your list. I have tried them and I HIGHLY recommend! Now to our interview!
How has Perspective affected your career?
I first realized how much perspective could affect my career when I worked at Dillard’s. I was working in a corporate type business so we would get directives from corporate and sometimes they did not make sense to us at the store level. There will be times when you don’t agree with what is being set in place whether by your boss or by corporate.
I learned quickly to step back and ask “WHY they are making those decisions?”. I became a better leader and professional when I looked at the bigger picture. Respect came along with perspective. When you take the time to understand the other perspective, you begin to respect it and respect the person as well.
I use perspective as a tool to make me a better manager. It helps me realize my weaknesses, strengths, the other opinion, the reasoning for a decision, and how to do an event/task more efficiently.
From your perspective as a manager, what do you look for when hiring someone?
I am looking for enthusiasm and passion. I want to know what the person likes and what they are passionate about.
My favorite question to ask in an interview is “What is your favorite pie?” Its an easy question but it tells me if the person knows the product and services of our business.
I also like to ask, “What do you know about the shop?”
If you are applying to work at a business (especially a small local business) you should know the business and you should have visited it, if possible. If you don’t even make the effort to know what we do, why should I hire you? In one interview, I asked this question and got the most unfortunate response…. “I was looking at your website and then I fell asleep.”As soon as she responded this way, I knew she would not be a committed employee and she could not serve customers professionally. She did not get the job to say the least.
From your perspective as a boss and leader, what is most important to you?
Grace and respect. We should respect each other and give each other grace.
We make all parts of the pie from scratch and it takes time. These are gourmet pies.
I don’t like a liar and I don’t like when someone hides something from me.
I tell all of my employees “If you drop a pie and don’t show remorse, it is your last day!”
This sounds harsh but it shows your lack of respect to the product, your co-workers, yourself, and the shop. If you mess up a pie, just own it and tell me how we can use the pie or product in a different way. Find a solution instead of hiding your mistake.
Some of my employees are teenagers in their first job. I have to use perspective to see where they are in life and their thinking. I have to start there and train and encourage them so they meet the standard of the Pie Shop. My goal is to get them to be efficient and self-directing. No boss wants you to be dependent on them. Otherwise, why hire others?
Your age and experience level is no excuse for not doing good work.
When you or your employees mess up/miss the mark, how do you want them to respond?
If you don’t take responsibility for your actions, it will always end badly. Ending badly could mean that your boss no longer trusts you. Ending badly means you could be fired. Ending badly means you won’t ever get the raise or promotion you want.
It takes so long to build back the trust. As a small business owner, you have broken my trust.
My guard is up because you have done something that disrespects my baby - my business.
From your perspective as a small business owner, what would you share with other business owners or employees of small businesses?
1. Location is important. Research it. Make sure it is a natural place for your target customer to come to. Your product may be amazing but if it isn’t convenient, they won’t make the trip.
2. Learn how to find high caliber people.
When we opened the first pie shop in Murfreesboro, I started with 15 people.
A year later when we were hiring for the Franklin location, I only hired 8 high caliber people who are strong in different areas.
3. Respect your employees.
Learned how important Respect is when leading people and managing a business.
I compliment my employees daily on small and large things.
4. Watch your mood!
I can’t allow my mood to dictate my actions because I have many employees who need me to be their leader. If I am focused on myself and let my emotions rule, I can’t grow this business or my people.
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