Maggie Bayless and Consensus Decision Making

Maggie Bayless and Todd A Reed in front of ZingTrain's Big Board
I had the opportunity to interview Maggie Bayless, Managing Partner of ZingTrain.

In this episode we learn a little about Maggie and her views on why Zingerman’s was such an attractive option for her. We also hear her views on consensus decision making.

Three questions for you to consider:

1. Maggie talked about believing, as she grew up, that business was inherently a bad thing. What attitudes about work and the workplace does your team bring into the decision making process?

2. Maggie says, “the leadership determines the culture of the organization.” What elements of the culture, in your organization, reflect this principle? Do these elements hurt or help the organization meets it’s goals?

3. What are 3 areas of your business would benefit from more consensus? I would challenge you to find some that would benefit from getting consensus from the most entry level people you have.

I would love to see your answers at one of the many Inspired and Intentional outlets:

You can find show notes, the questions, at While there you can also sign up to be kept up to date on the latest podcasts and happenings in the world of Inspired and Intentional business news.

I can also be reached on Twitter @ToddAReed, on LinkedIn at, and on Facebook, search for inspired and intentional.

You can get hold of Maggie by emailing her at

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Next week we’ll get a little insight to Zingerman’s process for developing new managing partners as a way to create opportunities for their emerging leaders.

Thank you for listening and until next week, be inspired and intentional.

Maggie’s Bio

Maggie Bayless is the Managing Partner of ZingTrain (Zingerman’s Training, Inc.).

Maggie has been associated with Zingerman’s since the Deli opened its doors in 1982. Back then, as a student in the University of Michigan’s MBA program, she left at 4:00 AM every Saturday to drive to the Detroit suburbs and collect the bread needed to make the Deli’s world-famous sandwiches. According to Maggie, “After a week of dealing with business theory, it was great to get behind the wheel of the bread truck. I’d spend my day loading and unloading bread, selling cheese, and helping make a brand new business successful. I’d collapse into bed on Saturday night – physically exhausted but ready to face school again on Monday morning.”

In 1994, Maggie decided to partner with her old pals from Zingerman’s, and Zingerman’s Training, Inc. (a.k.a. ZingTrain) was born in Maggie’s attic. ZingTrain acts as “keeper of the corporate knowledge” within the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, helping Zingerman’s managers improve their departmental training. In addition, ZingTrain shares Zingerman’s expertise with outside clients through seminars, consulting services and customized training. ZingTrain’s clients include specialty food retailers, as well as organizations from many other industries, including banking, real estate, health care, manufacturing and non-profits.

ZingTrain moved from Maggie’s attic, now has its own training space, a staff of 9 and sales approaching $2 million/year.

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