If you could imagine a formula for success in any field it would certainly stem from these four factors: Talent, Passion, Discipline, and Hard Work. When all four are in place – incredible results are inevitable, but ironically talent becomes the icing on the cake. There are numerous examples of individuals who have been very…
There is an old adage that many have relied on for generations: “If it isn’t broke – don’t fix it.” Of course, this does seem quite logical and applicable to business and many things in life, but something has changed in the last few decades worth considering. Communication and competition can easily shoot holes in…
It occurred to me this morning that my blog posts are always directed at ways to enjoy success. In fairness to the other side, I thought that I would outline the quick and easy steps that lead to business failure. After all, I want to be an unbiased equal opportunity writer.
HOW TO FAIL AS A BUSINESS LEADER:
1. Ignore all of the signs that point to problems in your business.
2. Make sure that you make most of the important decisions in a vacuum.
3. Hire great people, give them lots of responsibility but avoid empowering them with the authority to make change.
4. When your management team is starting to make progress, re-arrange the organizational chart and shuffle people around. Divide and conquer worked for early Nomadic tribes, why not in your business?
5. Take those same great people and through a process of slow and painful steps, give them every possible reason to leave.
6. At all costs, avoid developing delineated job descriptions. Let people figure it out for themselves.
7. Jerk your vendors around through delayed payments and avoid communicating with them at all costs. Maybe they will just go away.
8. Believe in yourself and avoid watching your competition. You have the right formula so why even monitor what they do.
9. Trust no one, especially those who organizationally are closest to you.
10. Read everything you can about Machiavellian style management.
11. If your product or service worked in the past, do not change it even if the environment that you operate in has changed.
12. Don’t advertise whether it be through traditional print medium or social media. Advertising is really a waste of money.
13. Keep doing the same things but always expect better results.
For those who own, operate or work in restaurants, I am sure you have experienced working for or with individuals who follow these steps with reckless abandon. There is little doubt that the owner/leader will eventually reach their pre-determiend goal: failure.
If, however, you would prefer to succeed, then post these thirteen steps on your office door and do just the opposite.
First and foremost allow me to congratulate you on accomplishing a significant goal: completing your degree. Know however that this is only the beginning of your culinary education. You have chosen to pursue a career in the greatest industry on the planet (yes, I do show a bit of bias), one that will provide you with maybe 40 years of challenges, excitement, opportunity and great satisfaction. Allow me to offer some (hopefully) words of wisdom as you cross the stage and pack your knives for this next phase in your professional lives.
1. Appreciate diversity: our industry is a melting pot of every ethnic group, race, young and old, straight and gay, tall and small, male and female, passionate artist and content job seeker, introvert and extrovert – providing you with a tremendous opportunity to experience the world every day you show up to work. Take it all in and appreciate everyone for who they are.
2. Know that every day will provide learning moments as well as opportunities to share what you know with others.
3. Remember that you must become dedicated followers first as you learn how to become the leaders you want to be. YES CHEF is still applicable.
4. Be patient with yourself and with others.
5. Be a team player – always.
6. Have your goals firmly established and choose your steps along the way with that in mind.
7. Ask yourself every day: “Is what I am doing right now bringing me closer to realizing those goals”.
8. Be in service of the potato. In other words, always respect the ingredients you work with and the effort that was made to bring those ingredients to you.
9. Every position in the kitchen is important and every person is a critical piece of the restaurant puzzle. You may have a different job than some, but every person in the kitchen is equal.
10. The foundations are always your friends. Never forget the basics that you were taught in school. They are called the foundations for a reason.
11. Shortcuts never produce the same results. “If you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, when will you find the time to do it over”?
12. Build your flavor memory.
13. Protect your tools –keep your knives sharp.
14. Sanitation and Safety is your most important job.
15. Look and act like the professional that you want to be.
16. Be a person of integrity. Be known for a person of high moral character and know that honesty is of consummate importance.
17. Be known for your dependability.
18. Seek to be trusted by all people who surround you.
19. Read and travel now.
20. Try to find balance in your life. Don’t look back and say “I wish I had spent more time with family and friends”.
21. Take care of your health. Eat right, sleep well and exercise.
22. And as Chef Michel LeBorgne would always say: TASTE-SEASON-TASTE!
Best of luck: now it is your turn to change the world.
Chef Paul Sorgule
First and foremost, congratulations on completing your formal education and welcome to the best industry in the world. Granted I have a certain amount of bias toward an industry that I have spent my life in, but I do truly believe that you have made a wise choice. You must, however, realize that your real education has only begun. The experiences that you will have over the next 40 or so years will be enlightening, rewarding, challenging and unsurpassed. Please allow me to offer a few (hopefully) words of wisdom as you move forward.
* Appreciate diversity. the food industry is a melting pot of every ethnic culture, young and old, every race, straight and gay, short and tall, type A personalities and type B personalities, passionate artists and complacent job seekers: they all make up a dynamic and exciting industry. Take it all in and relish the opportunity to work with others.
* Know that every day will be a learning moment and every day will provide you with an opportunity to share that with others.
* Be patient – you must become a loyal follower before you can grow into the leader you want to become.
* Every job in a kitchen and dining room is important. You may hold a different position but you are never better than anyone else.
* Have your goals firmly in place and choose the steps that you take to get there wisely.
* Be in service of the potato. In other words, always respect the ingredients you have the opportunity to work with and the effort that it took to get those ingredients to you.
* Be a team player. Your opportunities now and in the future are dependent on how will you support the team effort.
* The foundations will always serve you well. Remember the importance of proper cooking techniques and stay true to them.
* Never forget that you are in the SERVICE business.
* Protect your tools. Make sure your knives are sharp.
* Sanitation is the most important part of your job.
* Look and act like the professional that you strive to be.
* Read, travel and taste now.
* Never forget the people who help you along the way.
* Build your rolodex and your network of influence.
* Maintain your integrity, character and honesty.
* Try to find balance in your life.
* and as Chef Michel LeBorgne would say: TASTE, SEASON, TASTE!
Good luck. Now it is your turn to change the world.