I found out that it is absolutely possible to have tenderness and tenacity in a male-shaped mold.
Howard Olivier, former owner of Flying Pie Pizza, is that kind of man. Make no mistake: Hes smart, centered and in some cases, without movement in opinion. But a tender spirit surrounds him. I love it.
It was just that kind of spirit that brought us together. I was in the audience where he spoke recently. He shared his four principles for creating and sustaining a positive work culture. He delivered a firm message for success, and he did it with vulnerability. It didnt come by way of easy street.
Olivier is not sitting in an ivory tower. He is a man who has carried the heavy companionship of multiple sclerosis for years. Thats not an easy task if you understand that during that time he also drove his pizza business into national notoriety, being featured on the Travel Channels Man v. Food, USA Todays 51 Great Pizza Parlors and local media in multiple stories.
He says his achievement is rooted in his basic maxims. The four principles that drove his success are:
1. Whatever you practice, you will get good at it. The implication is to choose your daily activities with awareness. If you want to make money, then practice activities that lead to making money. If you want to live like a pauper, practice approaches that wont.
2. Be above zero. Up to zero, according to Olivier, means youre passing in the workplace. Above zero means taking the Its not my job attitude and shifting to Heres how I can help. Its the difference between looking busy or being useful.
3. Have gratitude. Yes, gratitude is a buzz word. More of us talk about it than live it. However, Olivier has found his groove in it. If you have the pleasure of hearing him speak, you will feel his gratitude. He is grateful for every moment of every day and it shows.
4. Overlap. Know that there is a sharing of responsibility on the giver side and on the receiver side. In business, that means expecting that a receiver should invest himself or herself in a situation, just as a giver does.
Flying Pie today reflects the foundation Olivier built. Flying Pie has levity and focus. Even its website communicates in everyday conversation with a little edge. Click How to get it, and youll get Flying Pies locations, numbers to call for delivery, instructions for how to cook their pizza at home and instructions for overnight shipping of the restaurants frozen pizza. Why sell us your labor covers employment opportunities. How to eat Habanero Pizza tells you how to limit the pizzas contact with your lips by using a fork.
Flying Pie celebrates its customers with Its your day, a day when your name may appear on their signs and when you can come in and make your own pizza. Customers can be notified when their favorite beer is on tap. The restaurants focus reveals itself in Flying Pies cult following.
Olivier no longer owns the business. He enjoys long relationships with family, takes an annual cycling trip spanning 180 miles, speaks on topics of heart and business and oozes warmth for his fellow man.
Karleen Andresen, publisher of the Idaho Womens Journal, marketer and speaker. KarleenAndresen@gmail.com