Business lessons I learned in the Pub

with 2 Comments

THE WHITE HORSE — I used to work in one. My parents always preferred to eat in them, and since I moved back to London 10 years ago, I haven’t been enough.

Here are the lesson I learned in a pub that help me in business:

1. Teamwork is always better

You know the miserable guy (usually) sitting at the bar, or in the corner, by himself? With each passing day he becomes less fun.

People leave the house to be with other people. They give you ideas, energy and an occasional kick in the backside.

2. Passion drives behaviour

You can usually see who is having fun. And they’re laughing, telling jokes, getting argumentative.

People need something to believe in, and when they do, they get fired up.

3. You are what you drink

There’s stacks of leadership books about the “say / do gap”. If you go down to the pub with the boys and order a “lager tops”, you should expect to be teased about it.

4. There’s got to be a Gov’nor

Relationships matter. You cannot have a successful pub without people in it who make the time pass. We go where we like the people. Relationships matter.

5. Volume, even success, does not equal happiness

There are far too many unhappy roadside pubs. They might serve a lot of £5 microwave ready meals (frozen Yorkshire pudding anyone?) But they won’t change you life… or even your mood.

6. Right place, right time

Location can be a killer. Or help you succeed beyond what you’d expect. Be in the right place at the right time. Good luck will follow.

7. Go home before closing time

There’s no sense being somewhere when you shouldn’t be. Don’t out-stay your welcome. Knowing when to quit is one of the first — and sometimes the last — lesson people learn in business. Learn it early.

So, that’s all you really need to know.

Mine’s a strong continental lager, thanks.


P.S. What have you learned? Go on. Tell us!

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2 Responses

  1. Phil

    Dress appropriately. It might be fine to walk into the White Horse in pastel shirt and deck shoes…

  2. Frank Bradley

    Know your customers. There’s nothing worse than a pub where the owner or the bar manager doesn’t get to know his regulars.

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