Passion – As Seen On TV!

I’ve never been much of a fan of cooking shows or the Food Network.  While they do give some great recipes, I find watching a cooking show is like buying and cooking Kobe beef and then feeding it to your dog instead of yourself.  You get all the anticipation (and salivation) of seeing the food being made, just to be disappointed at the end while you watch someone else reap the benefits. 

However, there is one brand of cooking shows that I enjoy.  I love watching anything with Chef Gordon Ramsay.  Yes, he’s the foul-mouthed Scottish chef that likes to kick trash cans or smash dinner plates when things don’t seem to go the right way.  Yes, he likes to put people down that don’t follow his every direction.  Yes, contestants have dropped out of Hell’s Kitchen or have quit their jobs on Kitchen Nightmares because of his fiery tongue.  He’s not someone I would want to report to, but at least in the end of each episode, he gets good results. 

Even though he’s appeared on multiple TV series, I’ve found that there’s a common theme Ramsay preaches about to everyone, whether that be someone new to cooking, or the experienced award-winning chef that seems to have lost their touch: 

If you want to be a good cook, you need to have passion.

When you look at the different levels of experience or the performances of a lot of these chefs/cooks on his shows, you can clearly see the difference between those that have passion, and those that don’t. 

Those that don’t have passion will always receive a tongue-lashing from Ramsay and will usually perform poorly.  For those that do have passion, they practically have automated focus.  Time and again, I see these passionate cooks performing efficiently (not letting the kitchen fall behind on orders) and turning out consistent results (food that restaurant patrons will rave about).

Passion isn’t just for the kitchen.  Passion can be, and should be, carried across all potential facets of business.  No matter what line of work you’re in, it’s passion that drives both results and the core of innovation.   As leaders, it is our duty to ignite the passion within our employees. 

The concept of passion in the work environment is not one that many younger leaders may think about.  Our sister-blog, LeaderChat, has a lot of great information about creating passion in the workplace.  This would be a great place to start if you’re new to this idea. 

How has passion (or a lack thereof) affected your work environment?  Do you have any employees that are facing a “passion crisis”?  Leave your comments!

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  • Comments (3)
  1. Ken,
    Gordon is all you say and more. He has ‘perfect taste’, just like ‘perfect pitch’ in music.

    In his programs he is a master practitioner of Sit Lead, he directs the unskilled, encourages the unready, supports the unconfident and leaves the ready, able and willing at the end of the show!

    Perhaps he should spend some time with your classic :01 min. manager to get the praising and reprimands right.
    I enjoy your blogs greatly.

    • Hi Brian,

      You are absolutely correct! We’re so used to seeing him concentrate on the direction that a lot of us overlook the support he provides, especially when he’s pushed someone to their breaking point.

      Gordon Ramsay really does display a lot of the characteristics of a Situational Leader.

    • Sandy
    • October 18th, 2010

    i enjoy reading the emails from your website but i have now lost all respect for the ‘whyleadnow’. Chef Ramsey leads by intimidation and so disrespectful that even if you have passion you lose it under this kind of treatment. You should never have used him as a positive message.

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