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7 Questions on Leadership with William H. Bender

Name: William H. Bender

Title: Founder & Principal

Organisation: W.H. Bender & Associates

Founder of W.H. Bender & Associates, a premier Restaurant and Foodservice consultancy that provides Management Advisory Services (MAS). I have provided restaurant operations best practices leadership while working and consulting in all industry segments. I'm a professional member of Foodservice Consultants Society International.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope William's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Administration, Record, and bookkeeping. This task is tedious.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I was very fortunate early in my career to have a mentor that taught me the importance of developing relationships and learning the business from all angles. This has been critical to my success over the years.

During my time at Honeywell, I was tasked with leading a major Positive Employee Relations Survey project for the entire organization. This project impacted 90,000 employees worldwide resulting in a 10,000-employee participation increase from previous year. In addition to the project being successful, I obtained my Six Sigma Green Belt certification.

The objective of the process was to translate the current survey into 9 different languages and to create the database to house survey results for comparison and year over year improvement.

This project gave me the opportunity to be elevated to a leadership role, but also provided me the experience to lead teams globally.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

My wife and I are early risers, 4:30 - 5 a.m. We start the day with Hot Tea and newspapers, including the WSJ. I then go to my athletic club for exercise. I'm usually at the office by 8 a.m. I have my calendar and calls or appointments scheduled. I have already prepared my daily tasks of work that needs completing. The coffee pot is a necessity. Depending on the workflow, there is time for reading, research, or marketing during the day. I work with clients off-site and on-site, and that requires travel for projects that are out of town. I stay current on my restaurant and foodservice clients/industry via trade publications and websites. We have an early dinner, 5–7 p.m. Then relax with reading and television. I have proactively prepared my schedule for the week and or day. I'll post on Social Media in the evening or morning. We read before we sleep and lights out by 10:30-11 p.m.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Be prepared to dedicate additional time to deserving clients or their employees. Not everyone learns at the same pace.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. It changed my entire outlook on leading and communicating with my teams.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Read the One Minute Manager!

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Stay observant when working with your team members. Recognize good performance. Some people are shy and never receive compliments or any attention. By dedicating a few non-threatening moments of conversation that are not work-related, you will learn and discover more about them. This may start a positive relationship and good work experience for them. LeBrandon Hickey was a ProStart Student I met in Chicago at the National Restaurant Show. I gave him a copy of the One Minute Manager. He read and understood the principles of the OMM. He has prospered. We are still friends and have stayed connected for almost 20 years.

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