Worst Service Ever

Sitting in a restaurant the other night I wondered if our food was ever going to come to the table after having waited an unreasonable amount for a server to take our order before remembering to bring water.

As a business owner, I know there is an employment challenge right now, and as those in my party complained of the service, all while we sat there parched, we also discussed The Great Resignation.

As a business owner and leader, I don’t want any customers to have this experience with me. Even though I have struggled to survive the past 19 months of pandemic life as a public speaker switching to virtual and back to in-person again, we are still serving the client and keeping The Promise the best we possibly can.

As a customer waiting on his food, I can also sit and complain about leadership in the place I chose to frequent. Perhaps I won’t come back due to “slower service” even if the food is decent?

However, from my perspective, I felt it more important that day, in that moment, instead of becoming The Critic to choose my perspective and reaction to the situation with my Promise to Lead:




What is your Promise To Lead these days?

It has to change due to the changing landscape. You are either going to go for the jugular, write negative reviews of every business that “breaks the promise to you”, or you’re going to see it from the new lens of the leader in today’s world: Patience, Gratitude, Forgiveness…appreciation of GRIT.

Maybe you’ll leave a bigger tip. Maybe you can offer an understanding smile when the server runs out, sweaty and disheveled, and say, “Hey, you’re doing a great job, we are good to wait a little longer than usual as we see you’re short handed here.”

This is Leadership in 2021 as a customer and consumer.

Are you The Critic? Or are you The Culture Creator?

You choose. But it’s on you for how your leadership influence spreads. In every interaction, in every engagement.

When I could see the look in the server’s eyes as he ran to my table, I calmly reached for his arm and said, “You’re doing a great job. You are a Leader in this space, place and time. Keep going, you’re keeping a great promise to us just by showing up and doing your job so well today.”

To which he replied, “Thank you. My Dad is the owner, he’s in the back doing dishes, as half our staff didn’t show up today. The host just took a break without telling us. I’m sorry for how this looks, but thank you for understanding.”

What is your Promise in Leadership?

It is not to accept mediocrity, it is to have compassion when that is the answer, and inspire others to continue keeping The Promise of having the doors still open.

The Leadership Dilemma of said business owner is that he has to be in the trenches, digging his way out of the battle, while keeping everyone else alive in the midst of The Great Resignation…

But when will HE EVER have time to recharge, recommit, and find a chance to reward himself for his efforts?

The Great Resignation leads us to The Great Recommitment. We call it The Promise To Lead!


On Friday, October 29 we are holding an event in SLC, UT called “Live 2 Lead”, a John Maxwell Team event sponsored by The Promise Institute, that will change the life of the business owner, the team in the workplace, and anyone who can step away from the craziness that is life for a moment of clarity in finding a greater level of leadership.



Even if right now the customer is saying about your business, “Wow, worst service ever!” there is no more important time to invest a few hours in yourself, to network, to learn, to be inspired, and to listen to great leaders who have struggled too…

And to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We hope you’ll join us for The Great Recommitment.

And if you can’t, because you’re in the trenches, know that we make this promise as leaders in the community: We have your back, we applaud your efforts, we see you. Keep going. Keep on Keeping The Promise.

Join us for Live2Lead in Salt Lake City, UT

October 29, 2021 – Limited seats available.

Click HERE to get your seat and enjoy the PCX of The Promise Institute!

~ Jason Hewlett & The Promise Institute 


The Promise Institute Co-Founders

Promise Culture Keynote Speaker

* Speaker Hall of Fame

Author of “The Promise To The One”




Share this post

4 thoughts on “Worst Service Ever”

  1. Wow Jason! What an amazing perspective and eye opener for me . I started a new job – transfer from one federal govt position to another and am now a team lead .

    1. Wow Suzanne! My best to you on the new job. This is essential to have our perspective and promise be secure as we walk into new waters.

  2. We had this very experience this week. BUT I could tell that our server, who was also a manager, was doing her very best to watch over us and serve us. We left a nice tip. Complaining isn’t helpful. Smiling and holding charity and gratitude, well, they made our meal nicer. : )

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Tweet