Accept the pain and get ready for success

Looking for new opportunities?  Feel like you should be doing something more? Looking for ways to expand your capacity? You’re not alone. You don't have to settle. There are people out there who can help you find your pocket of genius.  People who are not trying to sell you anything. People who don’t want anything from you but your willingness to allow them to be of value. Question is: Are you ready?  No, are you truly ready?  Ready to be transparent? Ready to be honest with yourself? Are you ready to discover what makes you the incredible person that you are? To recognize your purpose? Your true future has yet to be written.

Stack 571: Experience the feeling of unexpected hospitality

by Ray LeCara Jr.

Recently I had an amazing time meeting the wonderful staff at Stack 571 Burger & Whiskey Bar in Auburn, Washington following their grand opening. Stack 571—as Julia, the General Manager, explained—refers to a 571-foot smokestack that once stood where the Tacoma restaurant and center shops are now located. The burger and whiskey bar’s website further reveals that prior to earthquake damage in the 1930s, this particular smokestack stood as the “largest structure west of the Mississippi.” 

Stack 571, an upscale burger establishment, prides itself on their menu and gourmet sides, selection of high-end spirits, locally crafted beers and wines, and “responsibly grown & harvested” ingredients local to the Pacific Northwest. The new chain garnered so much attention after first opening in Tacoma in 2016 that they have so far opened two in 2018: Bothell (May), Auburn/Lake Tapps (August). A third is scheduled to open in Olympia in October.

Businesses succeed because they are authentically aligned with the proper culture, have skilled and competent people in their employ, and insist on consistent contribution at all levels. It should be noted that Stack 571’s culture is inspired by their mission, which states their desire to “be the first choice” of their patrons by having their “guests return because they experience a feeling of unexpected hospitality.”

Visiting for an early lunch, I learned these employees had just come off an intense week of long hours and training. If they were tired and worn out, it didn’t show. Maybe it was the adrenaline that was keeping them going, or perhaps the staff was genuinely excited to be where they were.

To grow and expand, the strongest companies are those that are mindful of the culture they cultivate with their staff and how it impacts customer experience. Especially in the hospitality business, the beats of an unsettled environment will not resonate with customers no matter how good the food might be. True leaders are those who empower others, even if it means they may outgrow the company. Therefore, the best managers nurture those they supervise and are not threatened by a worker’s desire to become more skilled. Organizational stability can be threatened when employees are unaligned with each other or management, feel limited in their ability to grow because their aspirations are not taken seriously, or when they are not given ample opportunities to add to their skill set. Discontentment of any kind creates an unpleasant cascading effect that only worsens if not addressed properly and early enough. This is why a company’s core values and alignment must start with the owners and be maintained throughout an organization. From what I observed—and taking into consideration the conversations I had with employees—Stack 571 appears to understand this.

When meeting people, I’m always fascinated by their passions, their inspirations, their goals. I’m also equally interested in their identity capital. Meaning, I’m curious about what life experiences led them to where they are.  Julia shared that she opened other Stack 571 restaurants before this one. She was genuinely just as excited about this location, as if it were her first. Excitement this authentic, as evidenced by her body language and tone, isn’t contrived. How wonderful to meet someone who enjoys what they do as much as she.

Bartenders Jade and Alex both shared their previous experiences leading up to Stack 571. Jade revealed a diverse background that demonstrated her affinity for opportunities to expand her capacity. And she especially cherished the opportunity to work at this establishment, recognizing its demands will continue to push her in ways she knows will lead to growth.  Both young ladies exuded genuine warmth and displayed sincere enthusiasm.

Yes, unmatched hospitality and amazing food may be Stack 571’s goals. But success can only be achieved through a consistent business model that is supported by competent employees who enjoy coming to work.  To accomplish this, businesses and organizations need their employees to feel supported within a culture that empowers its workers to shine at every level. Judging by my time at the Auburn/Lake Tapps location, Stack 571 is well on its way to meeting their goals.

For the record, I enjoyed a Caprese grilled cheese with a local ale.

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About the author: Longtime Connecticut educator, former corporate trainer, and author of four books, Ray LeCara Jr. now resides in the Pacific Northwest where he is a partner at King & Justus and the founder of Authentic Embassy. In addition to advising businesses across all seven strategic situations, LeCara dedicates his time to helping others find clarity by way of discovering their authentic purpose and mentors leaders who wish to become preeminent experts in their field.

Macaskill Wright to illustrate next Syner-G Publishing publication

Syner-G Publishing is excited to announce the work of Macaskill Wright in their next publication, a collection of short stories.

Shown here is a piece crafted in a style inspired by Gustav Doré. Gustav Doré, a French artist, brought Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner to life with his 1876 engravings. Doré’s work was noted for his biblical depictions, in addition to illustrating other classical works including “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. His Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1855) was one of the influences for author Ray LeCara’s The Forgotten Prophecy, a Syner-G Publishing publication.

Wright’s ability to capture the essence of a story and establish its mood through various stylistic choices echoing classical artists is nothing short of impressive. More importantly, his intellectual approach to the stories underscore his amazing talent. Wright’s illustrations don’t predictably “go” where one might think they would.

Stay tuned for more on Macaskill Wright’s work and his collaboration with Syner-G Publishing. His exceptional talent speaks for itself. We’re so very proud to have him included in this latest project.

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About Syner-G Publishing: Syner-G Publishing exists to help authors grow as writers and achieve the dream of having their work in a professionally designed and formatted publication. An American research-based, global publishing entity, Syner-G Publishing is the exclusive provider of curated content for Authentic Embassy Global Branding and their clientele. www.SynerGPublishing.com

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