What Is a Homegrown Leader?

You’re never too good to get your hands dirty.

Summary
Transcript

Kashara Moorman, former operations recruitment director at Waffle House Inc., explains what it means to be a “homegrown” leader.

“Homegrown for us [at Waffle House] means that everyone, no matter what you do, no matter what your formal title is, you go into a restaurant and you do exactly what your people do,” says Kashara. “By definition, most would say that we're servant leaders.”

Watch the video to learn more about this concept and why servant leadership is key to having a following.

Currently while working at Waffle House, I think one of the things that most people in my position do is we pride ourselves with explaining what homegrown means. Homegrown for us means that everyone, no matter what you do, no matter what your formal title is, you go into a restaurant and you do exactly what your people do. By definition, most would say that we're servant leaders.

Servant leadership is important because as you move up as a leader in an organization, you become far removed from day one of what it was like. And by being a servant leader, it reminds you of what it means to have your boots on the ground. And when you have your boots on the ground and when you implement that, "I'm never too big to be nice to people no matter who I am, no matter how important," when someone asks me to do something that I haven't done 10 or 20 years ago, it keeps me connected. It keeps me innovative. If someone is bringing those challenges, servant leadership is just that, you're saying that, "Hey, I'm never too good to wash a dish, for example, at the Waffle House. I'm never too good to pick up a piece of trash as I'm walking in for the janitor who works down the street."

By being a servant leader is saying, remind me every day that, "Hey, at some point, I was just there. At some point, someone wants to be where I am." In order for me to continue to breed a great leadership team, they have to see me do it. They have to see me take the time to monitor and watch the things they do and appreciate them and remind myself that, “Hey, I'm a servant leader because of them. I'm able to lead because of the people that report to me.” And when you recognize that, "Hey, I'm never too big to do the things that my team does," people want to follow you. They want to be led. There's nothing worse than a leader that doesn't have anyone to follow them. You know, you're leading a team and you look back, the team's not with you.
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Kashara Moorman

Kashara Moorman is a senior associate at PwC. She formerly served as operations recruitment director at Waffle House Inc.

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