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His dream? To take sushi national

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

As founder and CEO of a chain of sushi restaurants in Florida, Abe Ng attributes his success to two factors: setting high standards and communicating a clear vision to employees.

Ng, 40, launched Sushi Maki in 2000, and it has grown to 16 locations and over 200 employees.

He devotes much time to educating employees about his strategy. He seeks their buy-in and urges them to share the company’s philosophy with customers.

He says that his vocal support of sustainable fishing is “not common in the sushi business.” He provides ongoing staff training so that everyone on his team understands why he has endorsed these standards and how they drive the company’s growth.

“We have monthly chef meetings and weekly general managers’ meetings where we repeat the same things in a fresh way,” Ng says.

Ng has a simple vision for Sushi Maki: He wants it to become the first national sushi brand. When sharing his vision with his workforce, he details what anticipated growth will look like to them and how such success can boost their career. The resulting excitement motivates them to embrace the vision.

To develop his growth strategy, Ng closely studies other companies. He learns from their successes and failures.

“Have a unified message going to employees about customer communication,” he advises. “For instance, at our company, we show store employees how to be ‘the cool cousin’ who knows about healthy eating and our ingredients. Even as we grow, especially as we grow, that message needs to be consistent.”

— Adapted from “We’re on a roll!,” www.fiu.edu.

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