Ari Weinzweig co-founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan. Today, the company is an Ann Arbor institution, and Weinzweig has branched out into a number of other businesses. We approached him recently to learn more about his leadership philosophy and his approach to innovation.
Describe your leadership philosophy.
There are many elements to it, but above and beyond all else, it’s centered around Servant Leadership. It’s the philosophy we learned from reading the work of Robert Greenleaf. The approach is based on the belief that our responsibility as leaders, first and foremost, is to serve the organization, not the other way around. One key element of it here is that it means that we—the leaders—view the staff as our customers. We need to give them great service every day to the people who work in our organization. The service that the staff gives to our front line customers will never be better than the service we give to them.
A great article....