Successful Chefs let their brigade fail

Leading Chef - Let Brigade fail - Professional Development - Leadership Development

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
~ Jack Welch[gap height=”30″]

For your hospitality business to grow, everybody has to become better. You are only an inspirational leading chef if your brigade feels inspired; therefore you need to show commitment to your brigade’s progress. You need to develop and support your brigade, but that can also mean that you need to allow them to fail. Creating a culture and environment that permits everybody to encourage one another will produce the best work and ideas.

Activate people’s desire

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French aviator and author, put is beautifully: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Inspire your brigade by activating their desires; you may be surprised by what they do.

Lead to people’s strengths

The best chefs are not well-rounded; the best brigades are. Delegate liberally and encourage an atmosphere where people can focus on their core strengths. Investigate time to find out what role they fit best in; if employees feel their voice can be heard they will be more willing to give feedback about what does and does not work and how things can be improved. Help your brigade understand each other’s strengths and how these talents can create a united picture and improve teamwork skills.

Promote professional development

Learning and successfully applying soft skills is an extraordinary mechanism for facilitating growth. Share with your employees what you have learned throughout your career and by reading these blogs. Challenge yourself and your brigade to overcome shortcomings at regular intervals throughout the year; if you are strained for time or not confident enough yet, you can employ a Professional Development Expert to help you out.

Give praise

Catch people doing something right, and elevate and encourage them by commending them immediately. Praise isn’t just reserved for primary school. People love to receive recognition for their work. It makes them feel proud and appreciated and encourages them to continue in that manner; commending on effort rather than result reinforces that even further. Inspire others by sharing the credit, and publicly (if possible) acknowledging contributions of others.

Challenging your brigade

You need to challenge and support your brigade equally. Inspire them by expecting the most of them and get them to try things they have the potential for. Assign them with tasks that make them stretch their abilities. Give them ownership of the problem and let them take responsibility.

Set them free

No one likes a micro-managing Chef de cuisine; don’t give your employees detailed instructions, but rather give them the freedom to figure it out by themselves. If they ask for help, give them a rough outline to move in the right direction, but intentionally leave something left to their imagination so they will have the freedom to fill in the blanks. Once they are capable of figuring things out by themselves, they discover they are more powerful than they ever thought possible.

Let people fail

As Thomas Edison so famously said: “I failed my way to success.” Leading chefs let their employees fail, and yet not let them be a failure. Provide your brigade with the support to take risks when completing their tasks, and let mistakes be open and become shared learning opportunities. Make sure they know that you view failure as a necessary part of growth and innovation, and that you see great things for the person ahead. Let them go to grow.

Grow other leading chefs

Positive qualities of successful leading chefs can be multiplied when they cultivate an attitude of contribution. Companies like Southwest Airlines for example have found that an effective way to give employees first-hand experience in a leadership role is for them to shadow current leaders. This goes beyond formal training and employees at every level are exposed to leaders so they get to see how the leaders think. It’s important to give employees the right tools and resources to succeed. But you don’t always have to hold their hand; you may have to give up a little control by giving them the power to make certain decisions. That is how they can grow into successful leaders themselves.[gap height=”30″]

[box style=”1″]Time for Action

  • Can you think of a time when support from a superior has changed the course of your career?
  • Identify how you can give your employees additional support to grow into outstanding leaders themselves.
  • How can you challenge your brigade or employees? Can they rotate positions, even if it is temporarily swapping tasks or responsibilities?
  • What professional development will you provide your brigade with in the next 12 months?[/box][gap height=”10″]

Want more tips like these to improve your brigade’s skills, please contact us or subscribe to our mailing list. We are here to support you…

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By Martin Probst

In a nutshell, Martin Probst is the Managing Director of LEADING CHEF ACADEMY. He is not interested in teaching you how to suck eggs and is convinced that you are a top banana if it comes to your cooking ability. His mission is to add to your existing kitchen experience a blend of innovative LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT & ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS skills, so you can taste the success you deserve for all the hard work you put into your career over the years. His vision is to connect modern chefs around the globe and take them to the next level with our online education & training solutions.

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