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chef; leadership
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Chef broke cycle of "miserable leadership."

Anyone who's worked in a restaurant will know how intense it can be, especially in the kitchen. It’s hot, the cooks are stressed, someone’s always yelling about something and dishes, well, sometimes they end up broken. In upscale restaurants the pressure is even higher, so when this chef began to explain how he turned his kitchen around to be more harmonious and less chaotic, I stopped to listen.



In this short two-minute video, Chef Eric Ripert, who was trained in France, explains the toxic and abusive training he received that molded the way he worked. When he was in charge of his current restaurant, he simply repeated the abusive pattern. He tells Entrepreneur that he had been yelled at, had dishes thrown to the floor and was even punched in the shoulder. While Ripert says he has never physically assaulted his staff, he did admit to being verbally abusive and throwing dishes. He also noted that not only was his staff miserable but he was as well, and something had to change.

Coming to the realization that misery indeed enjoyed company, he decided to turn things around. No more yelling and certainly no more throwing dishes in the kitchen that he ran. Ripert leaned into kindness and patience to reach a place of mutual respect with the other staff. The new system isn’t perfect because people are human, and in a high stress environment, tempers can flare. But Ripert has a solution for those human moments: apologies.

We could all learn a thing or two from this chef’s transformation and surely his kitchen staff is thankful for the shift in environment.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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This article originally appeared on 06.30.16


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