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Career Lessons You Can Learn From Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay, a famous chef awarded with 16 Michelin stars, certainly knows how to grow a business and build a successful career. We got to know him in shows such as Master Chef, Hell’s kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef Junior and Hotel Hell. By watching these shows you can learn not only how to turn your cooking into a business, cook and swear, but also a lot about running a business.

See Also: 5 Richest Chefs

Because of his cruel lessons and unique style of teaching, he has become famous all over the world. He definitely knows how to berate his co-workers, but he is also a fairly good businessman – he owns more than 20 restaurants all over the world, and still manages to make TV appearances. So, let’s look at some important career lessons that Gordon Ramsey has taught the world.

1. Surround Yourself with Successful People

“If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that’s exactly what I did.”

In order to become successful you need to be in contact with successful people. When you work for the best, you have a chance to learn from them and apply the same lessons to your career. One thing that people are surprised about when they start working for the successful people, is that they aren’t actually working for them, but with them. Except for learning valuable lessons, you will have the opportunity to express your ideas and think outside the box in order to solve some problems.

As successful people want your opinion, and they need you to be innovative, they will do everything in their power to motivate you to go beyond the limits. If Gordon Ramsay hadn’t worked with professionals, would he still be the successful chef he is today?

2. Sometimes You Need to Give up on Someone

“But, I never, ever, ever, ever, ever met someone I believe in as little as you.”

Business is tough, and we can learn this lesson the easy way or the hard way. When you have a team of people, you always strive to get the best out of them, and you never stop believing in their abilities. However, you can’t always believe in someone and support them. If someone lacks the motivation, and simply doesn’t have what it takes, you need to give up on them. It is hard, but you cannot hold someone’s hand and lead them to a successful career if they are clearly not cut out for a particular line of work. You have your own career to think about.

If you babysit your employees, they will achieve nothing, and you will waste time trying to push them forward. Some people do need a push, but don’t be like Sisyphus – pushing dead weight up a hill won’t get you very far.

3. Learn From the Mistakes of Others

“Find what’s hot, find what’s just opened and then look for the worst review of the week. There is so much to learn from watching a restaurant getting absolutely panned and having a bad experience. Go and see it for yourself.”

We all tend to read about successful businesses and focus on the steps they took to become widely recognized. Knowing the right business moves is a must, but what about the companies that failed? You can learn a lot from reading bad reviews or articles on their bad experience. This way, you will know what not to do if you see yourself heading down the same road.

Don’t rely only on written word, go and see it for yourself. If some company has made an app that is said to have the worst design, install it and see how bad it is, and what’s wrong with it. No matter what career you are pursuing, never underestimate the power of learning from the mistakes of others.  

4. The Business Must Run Well Without You

“It’s been a process over the period of a decade. However, for me the secret is to make sure the business is running to perfection, with or without me. That’s a challenge. You need to master that, and make sure there are no discrepancies, with or without you being there. But it’s a tough card to play.”

If you are a parent, you know that when you are sitting in the same room with your children they will do their homework, but the moment you step out, they will start playing and doing everything except their homework. The same applies to your business. If your employees cannot keep your company together while you are absent, then you are certainly doing something wrong.

As Gordon Ramsay said, it is a tough card to play, but that’s the moment when you know you have succeeded. You won’t always be there to guide your employees, so if this isn’t the case with your business, you definitely need to make some changes. It might be that your employees aren’t encouraged to make decisions without you, or that they lack proper training. However, if nothing helps, then you certainly need to think about hiring other people. Cruel, but Gordon Ramsay style. Keep the good ones, and if the bad eggs don’t turn out to be great after some time, the problem is with them.

5. Your Projects Define Your Career

“We’re as good as our last meal.”

We’ve heard so many times that our actions define us, and that they are what matters. When it comes to business, this also applies to past projects. The way you conducted them and their success will define both your company and you as a professional. Not only will other people judge your career and determine how good you are based on your projects, but you will also define yourself as a professional based on them and probably lose confidence.

No matter how simple the project you are doing is, don’t be sloppy. Every project has the same value, and each one will add to your career bio. This is why self-analysis needs to be a part of our career development plan in order to pin-point bad habits and eliminate themGood judgment and self-awareness will significantly contribute to building your image, and more importantly completing your tasks successfully.

6. Sink or Swim

 “You stay on top of it by building momentum. I expose my staff by really dropping them in at the deep end. It’s sink or swim. If the sink they are going to drop down and division and if they swim, they’re going to go on and become successful.”

Reality check - not all of us can swim, so some will certainly sink. In order to prepare your employees for the worst case scenario, you need to drop them in at the deep end. This will not only prepare them for the future, but will show them whether they can swim or not. This doesn’t mean that people who don’t manage to cope with a problem will never learn to swim. Some need to get to the bottom in order to learn how to get to the top. If you find yourself in this position, and you end up at the bottom, don’t give up. Learn to swim.

Moreover, people are always scared of those who sink, because they never know what comeback they’ll have. Those who are second or third aren’t the ones you should worry about as much as those who are at the bottom, because those who are learning to swim have the biggest motivation of all, and when they strike, they either go straight to the top or achieve nothing at all.

The secret recipe of Gordon Ramsay is definitely to start working with successful people in order to improve your knowledge, skills and be able to go beyond the limits. When you have a business of your own, learn from the worst, and make every single one of your career moves matter. Then it’s sink or swim.

We all need a bit of advice from Gordon Ramsay, as he is probably the only person who will motivate you to work harder by throwing your mistakes right in your face. Watch his shows over again, and pay attention to the way he makes other businesses successful. I am sure we would be more productive if we had Gordon Ramsay tell us “That’s what you call success?”

Do you agree with Gordon Ramsay’s career advice or do you think he is a bit too reckless? Let us know in the comments section below.

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