Raising the level of your leadership

Dear Aaron…

You are starting your first job this week—bagging groceries at your Kroger. That is how I got started 60 years ago—bagging groceries at the Big Apple in Rome, Georgia.

Here is “some stuff you need to know”:

  • This is a lot more than just your first job; it is the beginning of a life-long journey of contributing to society (now) and providing for your family (someday). Start your journey well!
  • Be on time—every time! (On time means 5 minutes early.)
  • Arrive ready to WORK. You are not there to take up space or look good or talk about football.
  • Become the best grocery bagger in the store. The path to a better job is being the best in the job you have.
  • Volunteer to do the jobs no one else wants to do. Your manager will notice and appreciate.
  • Don’t join the complainer clique—avoid them or ignore them. Complaining becomes a habit; there a lot of good habits—develop them.
  • Especially don’t complain about pay. You have agreed to work for a certain amount—fulfill your obligation.
  • NEVER complain or say anything negative about your store/job/managers to customers.
  • You will be working for people. That means they won’t be perfect. You will NEVER work for a perfect manager/leader, so get used to it.
  • Take pride in your store. As you walk around, pick up trash on the floor, put away buggies—whatever helps create a great experience for customers.
  • As far as the customers are concerned, your job is the MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE STORE. The last experience customers have is with the grocery bagger. Send them out the door with a smile on their face. Smile, say “hello” and “thanks for shopping here.”
  • Be grateful you have a job.

Aaron, just be at Kroger who you are at home, school, and church—kind, responsible, a volunteer, and team player—and you’ll do great. Who knows; you may be the CEO of Kroger someday. I love you and am proud of you!


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© Copyright 2017 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

  • On Leading Well…

    "The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."

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