#RecruitMe: Could this be the best promotion ever?
Late last month, an incredible announcement was made by Noma chef – Rene Redzepi. He had made his dishwasher – Ali, and his restaurant managers – James and Lau; of his Michelin-starred restaurant part-owners of Noma! This benevolent gesture not only says that he admires those he works with, but that he is willing to part with his share of his fortune to motivate and take care of his team. How many leaders can truly say that they are willing to sacrifice their bonus, or a perk of theirs so that someone (or everyone) in their team can benefit instead?
Showing true leadership
I have always been a fan of Rene. In 2011, Noma won the World’s Best Restaurant accolade by Restaurant Magazine. Rene took his entire team to London to receive the award. Unfortunately, Ali was unable to attend as his UK visa was denied, so, Rene and his entire team wore a t-shirt with Ali’s face on it as a monumental gesture. In 2012, when Noma received the award again for the World’s Best Restaurant, Rene had asked Ali to give the speech when receiving the award. Being so humble as to provide someone else with the opportunity to take the spotlight instead of basking in his glory made us all so speechless! I can’t think of any one leader who is as inspiring, big-hearted and modest as he is.
Why is it important to lead by example?
Humility in our leaders is almost unseen in today’s society. Everyone wants to be recognised for their efforts, everyone wants an accolade for their ideas, everyone wants their horn tooted. As a leader, having your team shine is more important than having you shine. Think about it – if your team comes up with a brilliant idea, or a way to combat a particular challenge your organisation might be facing; and you present it to your boss or to the client as yours, how would your team feel? If you did the opposite and praise the work that your team has done and place them on a pedestal, how much harder do you think they would be willing to work for you?
We are always preaching to our students about the importance of leading by example. If you want a particular calibre of work to be produced, you have to make sure you’re producing outstanding work constantly. If you want your staff to work hard, you show them what you expect of them and more often than not, you will find how they will mimic your actions.
This is why it is highly crucial not to just possess knowledge about leadership, but show it through your actions. Sometimes, it can be challenging because you yourself might want to advance your own careers. But, as a leader at any level, whether you are at mid-management, or upper level management, your role is to keep the company going by way of managing and leading your team. Your ability is better judged by how well your team performs.
Steve Jobs once said, “great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” You worry about how you inspire and lead your team, and others will notice.
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