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  • Peter Bouloukos

What's LOVE got to do with it?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022


Positive “Can Do” Attitude. No Drama. No Negativity. Teamwork.

Life doesn't just "happen." Whether we know it or not, it is carefully designed by our choices. We can choose happiness or sadness. We choose decisiveness or ambivalence. We choose success or failure. We choose courage. We can choose fear. Just remember every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. In doing so, it gives us all a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.

The strongest force in human nature is the need to remain certain and consistent.

We all want to be loved. We all want to be respected...

We define ourselves subconsciously by whom we think we are. We treat others subconsciously by how we feel about ourselves on the inside. In the workplace as a team we simply hope to define “basics” and standards that will help us all to remain on the same page, but motivation is intrinsic meaning each one of us needs to feel safe and empowered to do well.

The degree of our success is predicated upon how we feel on the inside, and how we are treated by others on the outside. An integral part of all of this is how we treat others.

Trust involves trustworthiness first.

If we are true at heart and always doing and giving our best, we help to create a safe and secure environment for team work and success.

  • Be Proactive: We have a choice to be either proactive or reactive when it comes to how we respond to certain things. When you are reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. Being PROACTIVE means taking responsibility for every aspect of your life and ability to succeed. When at work, look around the room for what is missing or needs to be done to help prevent the team from falling behind.

Proactive people focus efforts on their Circle of Influence.

They work on the things they can do something about:

How we treat the person next to us, how we respond to a given situation, how we move within our “hospitality bubble.” Create that bubble and make it authentically you!

Reactive people focus efforts in the Circle of Concern--things over which they have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather, spilt milk and often get involved in a world that is “us vs. them.” Here they will complain, compare, contend, compete, and criticize people and things that really should not have an effect upon individual choices or behaviors.

Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies is a giant step in becoming proactive.

  • Begin with the End in Mind: -the ability to envision in our minds what we cannot at present see with our eyes or life experience. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint. If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default.

Define moral, personal and ethical guidelines that without question you will never waiver from. Begin each day, task or project with a clear heart and focus remaining true, positive and proactive. Remember, nobody can infect or affect you unless you allow it.

Every operation has basics or standards. Here, everyone is supposed to sing the same song but more often than not, it is performed out of tune.

I challenge everyone to develop a Personal Mission statement focusing on how you want to be perceived, where you want to go and what you are most passionate about. It is your plan for success and should encompass “why” you are here.

Drive success and create a destiny that is uniquely yours without the need for anyone to tell you what to do or where to look next.

  • Prioritize: DO the most important things first. Time management is a key component of success. Set the alarm at an appropriate time each morning. Come to work to “win” for everyone around you including guests and team members.

In business, putting first things first combines the ideas above. Be proactive; create the situation that will best help the team to succeed. Walk the room, look around for what is missing or may need to be organized. Before you take a break, make sure all tables are bussed and everyone on the team is caught up and balanced. It is the guests job to move the salt and pepper shakers. It's our job to bring the floor and keep the floor in balance.

Remember, if 80 percent of the restaurant is clean and bussed, our guests and auditors will see and remember the 20 percent that are not.

  • Think Win/Win: This goal helps strengthen our relationships with our team members as well as with guests. This goal helps to promote a win-win attitude. Most people base self-worth off of comparison and competitive mentalities that truly never define who they really are.

Life is a cooperative STADIUM, not a competitive shack. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart constantly seeking mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying.

We both get to eat the chocolate cake, and it tastes pretty darn good! A person or organization that approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits:

  • Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments

  • Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others

  • Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone

Many people think in terms of either/or:

Either you're nice or you're tough. Win-win requires you to be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but also confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also have to be brave. To do that--to achieve balance between courage and consideration--is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.

  • Seek First to Understand, and then to be Understood: This will also help manage relationships among peers. This will help to encourage us all to LISTEN to one another first, repeat what the other person said, and then provide a well thought out response.

Communication is the most important skill in life.

We spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak.

But what about listening?

Most seek first to be understood with a desire to get their point across. In doing so, many often completely ignore the other person pretending to listen, selectively hearing certain parts but missing the meaning of what was being shared completely. You see this all of the time when interacting with a customer in the workplace. You clearly explain exactly what procedure or technique is adhered to, and then you have to repeat it seven more times. I deal with this while coaching kids, if I don't get all eye's on me...I end up losing my voice explaining new techniques or concepts over and over again. It's a tough balance but without question, listening is the most important communication skill... If you are a person who tells someone not to respond to a statement or message, most likely you miss out on incredible opportunities to learn, grow and to become a better team member. The “know it all” or “done it all” always “listens” only with the intent to REPLY but to never authentically understand.

People will listen while preparing the mind for what they are going to say, the questions they are going to ask, etc...filtering everything being shared through personal life experiences and frames of reference.

You check what you hear against an internal autobiography to see how it measures up.

I'll bet YOU are doing this right now!

Consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • Synergize: How well do we work together as a team? To put it simply, synergy means "two heads are better than one." Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation.

It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. It's a process, and through that process, people bring personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, groups produce far better results than individuals. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. It is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

When people begin to interact genuinely, truly open to each other's influence, they begin to gain new insight.

The capability of inventing new approaches is increased exponentially because of differences. Valuing differences is what really drives synergy.

Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you so you could all get along?

Many people mistake uniformity for unity; sameness for oneness. Business owners never perceive a problem until it's too late...becuase everyone they surround themselves with, agree or think just like them. This "soothing" world is one of the biggest reasons people fail in business and in life! You are the "Sum Average" of everyone and everything you surround yourself with!

Simply stated, we are all smart, talented and have something to offer.

We work alongside people with amazing hearts and minds and trust that nobody in food and beverage is the smartest person in the room. What does this mean? When we synergize we make weakness and capability gaps irrelevant while truly tapping into individual strengths. Focus on this!

  • Sharpen techniques and skills: This refers to balancing work and play. This means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:


  • Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting

  • Social/Emotional:

  • Making social and meaningful connections with others


  • Learning, reading, writing, and teaching


  • Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service. Think about skiing, on a great powder day, everyone is smiling, getting along and you will even hear people laughing, screaming and cheering each other on! That is the "soul" of teamwork even though it seems very individual on the mountain. "Like" attracts "Like."

As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life. All of this keeps you fresh so you can continue to practice the other six habits. You increase capacity to produce and handle challenges of all sorts. Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish.

Not a pretty picture, is it?

  • Find Your Voice: Be a teacher. Share knowledge and experience. Listen first and then seek to be understood. Observe the world around you and give the best at all times. Support and serve others without need of return or reward.

  • What are you good at? That’s your mind.

  • What do you love doing? That’s your heart.

  • What need can you serve? That’s the body.

  • What is life asking of you? What gives life meaning and purpose? What do you feel like you should be doing? In short, what is your conscience directing you to do? That is your spirit.

People are internally motivated by their own four needs:

1) To LIVE a life of meaning.

2) To LOVE and be loved and appreciated.

3) To LEARN and expand life experience and knowledge.

4) To leave some sort of LEGACY, how people speak of you when you are not around.

When these four things overlap overlap - it's a sweet spot and without knowing exactly why, people will be attracted to what you know or the song you inherently sing.

Final Thoughts:

Man surrounded by what he thinks are facts permits himself no surprise, no intuitive flash, “no great hypothesis, no risk” but is in effect locked in a cell of ignorance sealing the mind by a fragile ego.

Learn more. Do More. Listen More. Authentically give.


Yours in Success, Peter Dean Bouloukos Bozeman, Gallatin Valley, Montana, U.S.A.

Management & Leadership Consultant

Human Being!

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