As a young man I worked for many European Chef Owners. Public humiliation, domination and occasional physical abuse were the cornerstones of their management style. This was their old school European upbringing and how they thought a kitchen should be run. It was like a chain of family abuse and violence that can pass from one generation to another. I learned to walk cautiously through my day, hoping not to be the one to push Chef over the line. I learned to keep my mouth shut, eyes open and head down. For me it was not that bad, but as I now think back, the emotional damage inflicted on the hard working, aspiring young chefs and cooks was a heavy price to pay for $20 a day. It took me many years to realize that I was somewhat like my early Chefs and that I needed to change. I made a commitment to treat people with respect and dignity and be a better Chef and person.
Building trust and promoting “Esprit de Corp” cannot happen without respect. Everyone wants to be treated with respect. Right or wrong, fast or slow, your favorite dishwasher or least capable cook, it doesn’t matter, everyone must be treated with respect. When you use negative situations as an excuse to demeanor someone, you have displayed the flaws in your own character and the inability to maintain your composure.
Reflect daily on how you treat subordinates peers and vendors.
Evolve for the better as a leader through acceptance of your own flaws and actions.
Support the success of others.
Provide an environment of trust.
Encourage the development of all.
Compassion for those struggling, believe it or not they want to taste success as much as you do.
Treat all as you would want to be treated.