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The Journey from Chivalrous Knight to Victorious King

My goal is the teach restaurant owners and managers like you, to focus on Eight Basic Fundamentals that lead to a better life and financial freedom.


Today we are going to talk about the different stages that men go trough and how they may be impacting you’re your ability to build a winning team.


Now, before I offend all the ladies reading this this, let me tell you a little more about where the genesis of this podcast comes from. There is a very smart lady, named Alison Armstrong, she is an author who helps women understand what drives men and their sometimes strange behavior. On Monday I read her book Keys to the Kingdom, it describes men’s journey through life, I found it fascinating.


Alison says that these stages doesn’t work for women because their motivations and drivers are different, but when it comes to professional women with long term careers - it starts to line up. Here’s the good news for you ladies out there, when you have this information, it will help you understand and manage the men in your lives a little better.


This information has also enlightened me and helped me understand the men who work in my restaurants, just a little better. Let’s get started.


Men go through four phases of life, the phases are about what drives men, not how much power or money they have. These phases are -

  1. Page

  2. Knight

  3. Prince and

  4. King


Let’s start with the Knight.

Between the ages or 16 to 30, men are knights. Knights want excitement and adventure. Knights are usually very chivalrous creatures. Knights need to live life to their fullest and have lots of fun.


The Page: Now that you know what a Knight is, I bet you can guess what a Page is. That’s right, a Page is a Knight Wanna Be. The Page's hang around watching the knights do cool things - and they wish for the day, that they can be a knight.


This brings us to the Prince. The Prince has three phases.

  1. Early Prince

  2. Middle Prince

  3. Late Prince

The Early Prince, needs to figure out what he wants his life’s work to be about. The Middle Prince builds the business or the strong career. The Middle Prince is totally focuses on work. The Late Prince has built his business and then has some time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor.


This brings Men to a period of deep reflection about who they are at their very core.

This is when – Men enter the Tunnel.

The tunnel is when some men buy the red corvette and get the hot girlfriend. This is sometimes called - a mid-life crisis.


When men emerge from the Tunnel – They have become a KING.

Just like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The King has a very strong sense of himself – The King Knows who he is. The King is like a baked cake, the King is set in his ways.


Now I want to translate this information into something you can use to build a better restaurant team.


Let’s start with - The Page: While they are not yet old enough to work in a restaurant, but they are old enough to be influenced by the knights. Because as we discovered, Pages want to be knights…

The food network has inspired many young people to become chefs and work in our industry. People with parents or older siblings in the restaurant business sometimes join our business. Career ideas start to form at a very young age.


Let’s look at Knights.

This is the age group that are most often employed in the restaurant business. They are our cooks, waiters, bartenders and young managers.


This group is fickle… We keep asking ourselves why we can’t seem to keep people… Right…


Well Alison has given us the answer. If you want to keep young men between the ages of 16 and 30, you better be offering some serious adventure. If you try to tie them down, they will leave in a heartbeat - Boom Gone…


The military uses the concept to perfection - They sell Adventure - To Knights!


Here’s a BIG point so pay attention. Knights are NOT ready to be leaders and managers. Knights are reluctant for power, because they are still Knights… Think about that one for a minute. We see it all the time.


Waiters just wanna make lots of money and go out and have fun. Cooks just wanna make cool food, then go out and have fun. Knights love to burn the candle at both ends…


If we make them managers they resent the extra time they have to send working because all their friends are out chasing dragons and having fun. Yes, a knight will accept a job as a manager, because they want to please us and help us – BUT, most of the time, they will be miserable and leave as soon as another opportunity comes along. Sure there are some exceptions, BUT if you are honest with yourself, this is starting to make some sense.


This is why it is hard to keep Knights, especially - unmarried knights. Yes, there are always exceptions. The exceptions are the people who have been in the restaurant business for at least five years and the people who are in it as a full time career. Some people do have the management gene and actually want to be managers and leaders.


Another exception is men who are married with children. Once a Knight is married and has kids, it forces them to become more stable. And it often shifts them into the Early Prince stage, no matter how old they are.


The cool part of this is that for a young person who is looking for adventure, working in a restaurant could be the perfect job. Think about it, restaurants all over the country are desperate for workers, and a young knight could have a blast, jumping from city to city and learning his or her craft along the way. That's Adventure!


The way to lure a Knight is to offer them - on the job training - that will give them the skills they need to be competent and ready for adventure. But, remember this – Knights will be Knights... And all men, no matter what phase of life they are in – sometimes have to strap on their shining armor to prove that they still – Have IT!...


The Prince: As I mentioned, there are three stages of Prince.


The Early Prince- The Early Prince is looking for a place to put down roots, make a long term commitment and build their lives. They are looking for something important to do and are ready to set down some roots.


These are the people that we want - WE WANT TO HIRE The Early Prince.


These people are around the age of 30… They have had many exciting adventures and they are ready to become adults and settle down. I love this concept, I have seen this transition in many people.


Here’s the downside. Sometimes, an Early Prince will leave a restaurant because, it was fun when they were a Knight, but now they are looking for stability and long term growth, they don’t see our restaurant or any restaurant as the place to build their life. This is often when they leave because it’s time to go and get a REAL job!


This is when - We must make sure that we have a plan to help them grow within our organization. We need to show them why this IS the REAL Job, they need.


The Middle Prince:

Is looking to build the kingdom that they intend to rule one day. If you can give them the right growth opportunity, they may jump at the chance to make your kingdom – their kingdom too.


The Late Prince- has already established themselves and is ready to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor, at least for a little while. I find this is very interesting, because when I interview a late Prince, someone in their late 30’s or early 40’s they are usually tired of the rat race and tired of working so hard – the late Prince is usually looking for a set routine and that set routine usually doesn’t include nights and weekends.


A Late Prince has already established themselves with company A and they don’t really want to start all over again - at the bottom with company B. They are ready to move right into the executive suite. However, here’s the exception for a certain type of Late Prince. If you find a Late Prince who has had a recent failed - you may have the right person for the job.


Here’s what I mean. Imagine that a late prince has recently been let go from their job, or they are not cut out for the corporate world, or a late prince, started their own restaurant a few years ago - and that restaurant just didn’t make it for whatever reason. This person has to start all over again, at the beginning – no matter what. If they are open minded, have good character, and a solid work ethic, they just might be the perfect person for us.


Here’s Why - They have the experience and all the battle scars to prove it. The experience of failure always humbles us and prepares us for real growth. I find that the people who have had the shit beat out of them are finally often ready to make the adjustments needed to become great. Most people don’t make it to success on the first attempt. As you know it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it matters how many times you get back up.


The Tunnel: Now we reach the fun part… It’s called the tunnel. This is when men buy the red corvette and pick up the hot new 25 year old girlfriend. It’s known as the mid-life crisis. The tunnel represents the time of life when men struggle to come to grips with who they really are and what they truly stand for. This is a real thing that men struggle with, some men go bananas and other just glide right through.


On the other side of the tunnel we meet the King.

The King is Fully Baked, he has a very clear sense of who and what he is. He knows his mission in life and is not willing to change who he is - without a very serious fight. This is why we say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Make no mistake, smart Kings never stop learning and adapting to new environments. But, not so smart Kings - fight change at every step of the way.


The point is KINGS have a strong sense of who they are. If you are looking for such a person, to manage a business for you - a King could be a great choice.


Here’s another thing about Kings. Kings have a strong desire to GIVE to their people. Kings love to give out rewards and take care of their people… It’s part of the package.


Here’s a interesting thing that sometimes happens in restaurants. –

A Prince hires a King… What..? Hey don’t laugh – this happens all the time and it can lead to some pretty rocky places until both parties figure out what their roles are.


Remember - in these examples the titles are not about money or who has power over who, they are examples that illustrate the different mindsets and stages that men go through in their life time.


So, it is very possible that a Prince would hire a King. The problems start when the Prince tries to micro-manage a king. Don’t mis-understand me a Prince can manage a King as long as - the expectations are set - up front and both parties understand what their roles are - and they are both comfortable in their own skin. It is very important for anybody who hires a king to give them the latitude, power and autonomy that they need. If you are not prepared to do that – Don’t hire a King…


There are a couple stages above King that you should also be aware of, they are…


The Emperor: The emperor is the king of Kings. The emperor has many Kings and Kingdoms under them. Donald Trump is an Emperor and so are Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

The level above Emperor is:


The Spiritual Guide: When I think of spiritual guides I think of Merlin the Magician in the Hobbi, Yoda and Old Ben Kenobi, from Star War. I also thing of people like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Andrew Carneige and Bill Gates. These people are driven by Altruistic needs.


Let’s wrap this baby up!

Knowing where your people are, on their life line will help you understand them a little better and help you become a better leader and coach.


This information may also help you re-think the group that you are targeting your hiring message to. If you are looking for stable people who want long term opportunity – you would be better off, looking for an early prince, than chasing a chivalrous knight.


If you need someone to manage a large restaurant – A King, just might be the ticket…


If you are looking for a coach to help you improve your restaurant, you definitely want to find a wise old sage who lives to give back and help the next generation get where they want to go, and that my friends is me…


My Name is Peter Harman, I am the Food Guru. My goal is to help restaurant owners and managers just like you – I want to help you create financial freedom and live the life of your dreams.


I have written a book called Restauranting 101, it focuses on Eight Basic Fundamentals that will propel your restaurant into the top 5% of all restaurants. Restauranting 101 has the power to change your life and it's available on Amazon today. I encourage you to read it, and if you really like it, buy a few extra copies for your key people. These eight basic fundamentals have helped me and my teams accomplish amazing results, I’m sure it will help you and your people too.


I am a restaurant coach, I do one on one coaching sessions. I use these Eight Fundamentals to help my clients transform their restaurant from Ok to Great in just 90-Days… That’s right folks, if you are struggling today – I can help you turn things around in only 90-Days.

Come to food guru .com today and sign up for a free consultation – you have nothing to lose…


Thanks for listening

I look forward to hearing from you.


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