Order off Amazon one day and the parcel arrives the next. This is brilliant for customer service, but this trend may have actually encouraged a culture where if people don’t see immediate results from their efforts they give up.
It was leadership author John Maxwell who advocates ‘the rule of five’. Here he says if you swing an axe at a tree five times per day eventually it will topple. It may take five months, five years but eventually it will fall. The time it takes depends on the size of the tree, but this is not the point, it is the diligence required to continue to swing the axe five times, every day, until the tree is chopped down.
The interesting thing about human nature is that we celebrate the end point. If it takes a stone cutter 100 cuts to split a rock the 101st cut is celebrated as the point when the rock breaks. However, success has come directly from those first 100 efforts.
Referenced in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, is the phenomenon called the plateau of latent potential, where it may take a long time and many small changes for the overall effort to pay off. It’s the gap between where people want to be and where they are currently. At this point many people become frustrated in a valley of disappointment and give up. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of this plateau (or valley) and keep going. The continued, diligent effort to cut the tree or split the rock will ultimately pay off.
One example is the editor’s choice award which Papa Johns recently won at the QSR Media awards. It was an incredible honour to be part of the team that accepted the award on the night, and we were all very proud. We won the award for various activities over the past year which included:
Our goal to donate 10 million meals to those in need over the next five years for Hunger Action Month; Our corporate incentive bonus plan which now includes an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metric, making the company the first major U.S. pizza delivery chain to announce that its ESG priorities will be linked with incentive compensation; Papa Johns International’s score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality and the fact that Papa Johns Canada raised more than $63 thousand through the sales of the Shaq-a-Roni pizza for Canadian food rescue program Second Harvest.
However, our UK and international team have worked on these kinds of initiatives to put people first for many, many years, often giving back to the communities around the world which we serve. Although myself and my colleague Lee Reed were delighted to receive the award, for us, it recognised years of effort from Papa Johns’ whole extended team to put people at the forefront of everything we do.
So my message is: see success in each moment. Keep the bigger goals in mind but don’t give up. It will be the accumulation of small amounts of effort sustained over many years which leads to great achievements. This is something we discuss and encourage with our own franchisees. Focus on the habit of doing something every day and ultimately you will see the tree topple.
For more information about Papa Johns multi-unit franchise opportunities please see: www.papajohns.co.uk/franchise