Undercover Boss—Rick Silva of Checkers

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It’s been a full month since I saw this episode of Undercover Boss, yet Mr. Silva’s actions are still fresh in my memory. (Season 3, episode 4 on iTunes.)

Though I have yet to watch all the episodes, Silva’s episode has struck me as the most impressive yet, earning him huge kudos from me.

At the very first store he discovered an operation that had clearly gone haywire. A new manager had been installed before finishing his training, and was treating his employees barely better than Roman slaves—with predictable results in the food quality and customer service.

While talking with his “mentor” during a lunch break, he realized just how badly this young fellow as  being treated, and barely hesitated in confronting the manager. About half-way into the conversation, he decided he had no choice but to break the cardinal rule and reveal his identity. So he could immediately shut the restaurant down and begin rectifying the problem.

What happened next showed how much class Silva has, and makes me want to find the closest Checkers.

His first action was to call HQ and arrange for other local managers to fill-in and reopen the store to corporate standards. Informing all the workers of the shutdown, he reassured them that nobody was losing their job, and that everyone would get the training needed to meet the corporate service expectations (including the newbie manager, who lesser leaders would have canned on the spot).

Silva’s generosity to the employees that “mentored” him at each store were no less impressive.

If you haven’t seen this episode, spend the $2.99 and watch how a great leader supports and inspires those in his care. These are the skills we need in our future Presidents.

Author: Peter Sheerin

Peter Sheerin is best known for the decade he spent as the Technical Editor of CADENCE magazine, where he was the acknowledged expert in Computer-Aided Design hardware and software. He has a long-standing passion for improving usability of software, hardware, and everyday objects that is always interwoven in his articles. Peter is available for freelance technical writing and product reviews, and is exploring career opportunities in interaction design. His pet personal project is exploring the best ways to harmonize visual, tactile, and audible symbols for improving the effectiveness of alerting systems.

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