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Kitchen Nightmares and Leadership

November 3, 2008

I really don’t know why but I enjoy watching Kitchen Nightmares on Fox. It is interesting to see Gordon Ramsay’s take on a restaurant. Maybe it comes from my college years of waiting tables, I worked at some places that could have used Ramsay’s help.

But here is the deal. I have noticed that many times a key problem with the restaurant is leadership and the past couple I have viewed were very passive. I have witnessed the problems this passivity brings.

I must confess that I have been inspired to be much more direct and demanding as a leader because of this. It is too easy to let corners be cut, especially in a volunteer organization.

Kitchen Nightmares has reminded me that as a leader there is no room for cutting corners, people don’t take it as kindness but instead interpret it that you really don’t care. Instead of getting better things get worse. It also has shown me that someone has to push the group forward. Humans tend to the lowest common denominator without someone holding them accountable.

No, Mr. Ramsay has reminded me that to lead means stepping on toes when necessary. If you believe in what you are doing, and as believers we should, there is no room for what can be perceived as passiveness even if you are doing it to be a servant leader. You can be a servant leader without losing accountability. What we are fighting for is much more important then a plate of food. Eternity is at stake.

Kitchen Nightmares | Thursday 9/8c | Fox

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