Scott Gittrich, founder and CEO of Toppers Pizza, shares his thoughts on life, leadership and pizza.
Toppers Pizza is incredibly special to me. I know it is the same for many of you. What makes it special is not the logo or the breadstix or the buildings or the pay- what is it? For me it is the exciting journey- a life pursuit- that I am on with you. There are hundreds of Toppers People out there. Nobody knows everybody and most of us know only a handful that we work with closely every day. Despite that, we are connected in very real ways. You know what I’m talking about. What is it that runs through Toppers that connects us?
Many of you have heard me say, “I’m looking for people that had good parents.” We can teach someone to make pizza, we cannot teach someone to have our values. Toppers people that connect to Toppers in a meaningful way and feel that special journey share a set of values.
Values are what we won’t compromise. They aren’t a business strategy! If the marketplace rejects us because it doesn’t value something like our menu or our service- we can change that. But if the market rejects us because it doesn’t appreciate our values, we will search out a different market. I will fail before I compromise these values:
Live with Integrity
If I cheat, lie, or steal, I not only fail- I am a failure. Nothing is worth disrespecting yourself or your fellow man; certainly NOT financial “success.” No amount of money can buy you self-respect and integrity. Neither can any person take integrity from you. Whatever else we are willing to risk in business, integrity is not one of them. Toppers People Live with Integrity.
Not optional- I’m having fun doing this or I’m out of here! Our performance is integrally tied to our deep satisfaction in what we are doing.
People come along- you know who they are – that are downright negative. They grudgingly come to work because they have to. These are our worst performers! They don’t belong, and ultimately they do leave. I’m a Pizza Man and I love that. Toppers People have fun.
Build Something Special
Again, you know what I’m talking about. Our work matters. We’re proud of how we serve our fellow man, and together we’re building a company that will outlast all of us. That’s cool. Many years from now, your grandkids will be ordering Toppers Pizza and you will say “We built that!” Toppers People Build Something Special.
Bring It…with Passion
I hate the expression, “I gave 110%!” What does that mean? Most people don’t give 50% of what they are capable of. If you bring 60 or 70% of your energy, skill, and passion to a job you’ll out perform almost everyone! If we just bring what we have, with passion, we are truly unstoppable.
This is it. This is life. Play the game hard and leave it all on the floor. Don’t regret that you didn’t bring it. Toppers People Bring It…with Passion.
Give Customers What They Want
We are serving our fellow man. Our customer is the reason we come to work. Many individuals in our company that have been doing this for a while have spent 10’s of thousands of hours obsessing about every detail of what our customer wants and then trying to give it to him. I can’t turn it off – I’m wired to focus on the customer. Toppers People Give Customers What They Want.
You know these values. They are your values, my values: our values! Consciously connect to them and allow your awareness of them to pull you forward. Recognize when someone doesn’t share our values. They are not Toppers People. These values are the thread that runs through us all.