You might be surprised just where I get leadership insights from! Take for instance celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. Here’s what I see when I look past the rudeness.
1. He is passionate. He cares about what he does. He wants to help people be more successful in their businesses.
2. He knows his stuff. He has been a successful chef, restaurateur and businessman. He knows that what he asks people to do works. He has expertise and runs on the board.
3. He builds effective teams. He knows that a group of individuals won’t get the job done, but an effective team will.
4. He has vision. He forces the business people to decide on what they want from the business, then helps them go after it.
5. He keeps things simple. The ‘nightmares’ that he sees in the struggling restaurants that he tries to help, typically, are overly complex. He strips back what they do – reduces menu choices and simplifies systems and procedures.
6. He advocates structure. Who’s in charge? What are everyone’s roles? Who relates to and answers to who?
7. He is systems focused. He encourages people to work out the most efficient ways to take the orders, run the kitchen and deliver the meals. When they have systems that work, they stick to them.
8. He has difficult conversations without delay. He often swears at, belittles and shows disrespect for the people he works with. I am not advocating this behaviour but I do support that when a tough talk needs to happen we should meet it head on.
9. He delegates. He often sees head chefs doing all the work, taking all of the responsibility. He recommends that a head chef sets up for success, delegates roles, orchestrates the operation, then steps in where necessary.
10. He knows communication is the key. Someone in the kitchen shouting “yes chef” after being given a task lets everyone know that that person has accepted responsibility for the task, and everyone wins.
Go through these ten aspects and ask yourself, “am I doing this”? It doesn’t matter if you are running a café or a car dealership, a fine dining restaurant or a florist – the basics of leadership are the same. Now, repeat after me, “Yes Chef”!