Implementing the EAT Acronym

How do you inspire your team to achieve a common goal?


Vecus Miller, executive vice president at Waffle House Inc., explains the EAT acronym that he uses to get his team moving toward a shared objective.

“EAT stands for empathy, attitude and team,” shares Vecus. “When you put those three pieces together, normally you have an effective way to get people facing the same direction and inspired to move forward and achieve a common goal.”

Watch the video to hear Vecus break down each part of the EAT acronym.

EAT stands for empathy, attitude and team. And basically, what that's about is, anytime you're dealing with people, you have to understand their perspective. And that's where empathy comes into play. You often hear the phrase about, "Walking a mile in someone else's shoes." And that's what you have to do as a leader. It's important for you to see their perspective, but more importantly, understand their perspective.

How do you do that? Well, you do that by talking to them, trying to put yourself into their position and say, "How would I feel if something like this happened to me?" And once you do that, then it opens up a whole new way that you can connect with that person, and you can deal with them from a perspective that they understand. So that's the empathy, part of it.

Attitude is what drives everything. It's the first thing that people see when they meet you, it's their impression of you. So being positive, despite the situations that are going on around you is important. When people see someone who's positive, despite the circumstances that may be challenging or overwhelming, when someone's positive, it's something that other people feed off of. It becomes infectious. And so we always say, "Despite the situation that you're in, have a positive attitude, be optimistic, have a can-do mindset." And the people that you're trying to lead, they're going to feel the same way.

And then teamwork is the bottom line of any type of organization, and what leaders should always try to achieve. Basically, you are building people that want to work together to achieve a common goal. And oftentimes we talk about teamwork from when you look at sports teams, people who are working together to achieve something be it win a game, win a championship. You know, in business teamwork is more so what is the common objective of the organization or the business itself? And how do you find that connected motivation so that everybody can move in the same direction? And so when you put those three pieces together, normally you have an effective way to get people facing the same direction and inspired to move forward and achieve a common goal.
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Vecus Miller

Vecus Miller is executive vice president at Waffle House Inc., where he is responsible for 200-plus restaurants in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. He believes, as leaders, we have a responsibility to serve all people.

Vecus was...

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