Aug. 26, 2022

02: Ground Rules - Line Check

02: Ground Rules - Line Check

1 2

Stand Up

Assumptions

Agreements

Where we're headed

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Transcript
Adam Lamb:

Time check y'all it's 30 minutes before service and

Adam Lamb:

it's time for your line check.

Adam Lamb:

Welcome back to the show.

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I'm your host, chef Adam Lamb, and I'm dedicated to helping you build

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the skills to overcome any obstacle in your culinary career and to face those

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challenges with confidence and resilience.

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Let's get everybody together for a quick standup and check the temperature of the.

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Not the physical space in which we inhabit, but I wanted to check

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in and see how everybody's feeling about their progress so far today.

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What challenges are you facing?

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What's been going on, Patrick.

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How about you?

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I sense you were a bit frustrated earlier when you had to wait

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for the produce delivery.

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Not really.

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Okay.

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Maybe now's a good time to go over some ground rules for the hashtag new

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kitchen culture we're building right.

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Maybe we can come to some consensus about what we're trying to achieve together.

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We, we chef I appreciate the fact that you're willing to take time out of the

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day to be of service to one another in this little community we're building.

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I get that you are already committed to.

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Co-creating a new way forward for our fraternity of fellow cooks, creative

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spirits, dreamers builders, and those that need somewhere and something to belong

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to on the island of misfit toys or else you wouldn't be here in the first place.

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I can't stand by another day and scroll through my social media feed

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and see yet another post about a chef gone before his or her time.

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The signs of dysfunction have been around for years, mostly

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enabled, ignored, or laughed.

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As long as a machine got fed, it kept spitting out more money.

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My purpose and mission are to be your guide on this journey

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of discovery and mentor your progress, mentor your greatness.

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What's your purpose for being here?

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Listen, becoming a better version of yourself professionally and personally.

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Ain't easy.

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That's why most of us fail before we even try, you know this, and yet you still

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showed up and stepped into the circle to be counted and have your voice heard.

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Good on ya.

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You have a voice you opted to be part of this organization.

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I want you to speak your truth.

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As long as it doesn't malign threaten or take away another sovereignty

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or dignity, there is nothing more dangerous than someone whose

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dignity has been taken from them.

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I know this from bitter experience, a sad and shameful story.

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I'll say for another time, the way forward out of this dumpster

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fire that we have ourselves in is to co-create an environment and a

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culture right here right now in this.

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Let's commit to sharing common values and desires, which may or may not be

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satisfied in other places in your life.

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But here you get to be heard, valued, considered, and treated with respect.

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By being here, you have declared to us your intention to be at cause

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for this new way forward towards a hashtag new kitchen culture.

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Soon, others will know just by the way you start showing up at

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first, they might not understand.

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Then they'll begin to wonder why you're happy.

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All the.

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finally, they'll conclude that you must be drinking the Kool-Aid, but

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don't kid yourself a monumental change.

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Like this won't happen overnight, nor will it come from someone

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outside of the industry.

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It can only come from us working together and United in the belief

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that we are the industry in almost every operation I've ever worked in.

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The kitchen has always led the change.

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Why should it be any different now?

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And if not now, when.

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If not you then who it's up to me, him, her and yeah, those two knuckleheads

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over there with their hands up were enough, but first we're gonna have

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to agree to some basic assumptions.

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Okay.

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We are all aware of the issues, problems, and challenges.

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This industry has faced for the past 25 years, which thanks to COVID.

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Burst into the headlines and forever stripped our craft and fraternity

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of its sexy and desirable facade.

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And finally let the outside world see what most of us already knew.

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Shit's fucked up and getting worse by the minute now that everybody

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sees what we've experienced.

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And some like me had a hand in perpetrating until the crisis of

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faith was mine or on that somewhere else, we all have a unique opportunity

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to change the basic assumption of how business is conduct.

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the only way that happens is together.

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How do we do that?

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As it turns out, I've got some pretty juicy ideas validated and proven

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to work, but we're all gonna have to come to some type of consensus.

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If we're gonna try it out here.

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Most of us feel at times unappreciated by anyone else that isn't a chef.

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Often we feel disconnected from other chefs because for a while, all any of

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us could do was to keep our head in operation above the incoming tide of.

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A lot of people gave up and found work in other industries, but did

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this polls conducted by our friends at the Bern chef academy tells us

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that almost 60% of those that left plan on coming back within a year.

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That means that the clock is ticking and we all have some cleanup to do before

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they arrive some of our best friends, fellow associates, brothers, and sisters.

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Didn't make it through this trial by fire.

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Some we lost to addiction and suicide.

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Some decided that it was just too much to bear some, even smartened up and

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chose their family over the promise of another night, grinding it out with the

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boys and the girls back in the shop.

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Some of us are starting to wonder whether we've made a terrible mistake

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following our heart and passion, dedicating ourselves to a craft that

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can sometimes feel as if we've been tricked and turned out on the street

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corner, played and taken advantage of betrayed by the very thing we loved.

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Right here right now.

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Can we affirm and agree to one another, as long as we're part of this organization

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and within this space that we will a treat each other kindly and show up,

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ready to support our fellow team members and chefs B be more curious about

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the solution to a certain challenge than any fleeting satisfaction that

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might come from complaining about it.

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C be willing to let go of the idea that our pain is a badge of.

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Finally admitting to ourselves, if no one else that the grind and

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that kind of mindset only grinds us down and D know that if anything

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is to change, then it must be us.

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That show the way by our actions.

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Not our words.

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I've heard that you can either be right or in relationship, but not both.

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I choose relationships.

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The associates managers, vendors, guests, and owners who populate our kitchens,

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dining rooms, bars, and back dock represent the foundational challenge

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of our professional and personal life.

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Close your eyes.

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And imagine just for a second, what it might feel like your own

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career trajectory, like a boss, suppose you can master the art

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and science of relationships with skill, clarity, compassion,

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authenticity, and transparency.

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In that case, you'll become a mentor.

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Others will seek out because you've discovered that communication is

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the secret key that unlocks the freedom and enjoyment of your career.

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You most desire, which one of us doesn't wanna solve the staffing problem once.

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And for all Maria, are you in no, blah, blah.

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More recently, some seeking jobs in our kitchen showed up for their first shift,

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eager to talk about the boundaries.

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They held important, full of promise for a seat at the table.

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in response to their enthusiasm.

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They were immediately crushed under the weight of indifference, apathy, or

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outright hostility, which hid the envy.

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Some chefs held in their hearts.

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Some chef might then walk away with Ash in their mouth, as they wondered

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why they never had the minerals to stand for what they wanted.

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Fuck that another chef might grim us under his breath, pissed

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about the family and friends.

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He willingly bartered away for a vague promise of prominence.

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He or she might be left with the suspicion.

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When the promise is finally fulfilled, it'll be too late to

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make another choice and they'll be stuck holding a bag that will never

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balance the scales in their favor.

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At that moment, the chef will remind herself or himself field by his anger

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and choking on his regret that it is proper and fair that he or she treats

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his youngling in the same manner as he or she had been trained shamed

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and conditioned to disconnect from their humanity and compassion so that

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they could be a marginally better manager than he had been last quarter.

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They might call that success.

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Who said, this is the way it's supposed to be.

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And if you can't control your environment, circumstance or other

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people, what can you control?

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Why have some of us gone along with a lie that it's better

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to burn out than fade away?

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It's more honorable to grind and die than question and upset the whole

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rotten apple card of profit in any cost except of the share price and

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unsustainable growth for bragging rights.

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Some of us might have been lucky enough to actually been

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taught, to be competent manager.

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problem is, is you can manage a labor cost, but you can't kid yourself that

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this qualifies you to be a leader because you don't manage people.

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You manage a cost.

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Very, very few of us were taught to be leaders.

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None of us were taught to be effective in inspirational mentors.

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The only way you'll ever be free enough to fully enjoy your career without

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sacrificing your life is to mentor your people with intention and clarity.

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And to do that, you need a plan.

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You'll need to provide them a safe space so that they can role play, make mistakes.

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And then finally you'll need to support their growth and

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maturity as professionals.

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And most importantly as complete human beings, you'll need to clearly articulate

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and support their career path and deliver timely, constructive feedback

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that encourages enthusiasm and growth instead of leaving them deflated and

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dejected sounds like a lot of work.

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Doesn't.

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It's the only work that matters.

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If you truly want to enjoy your career without sacrificing your life.

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It's now time to learn embody and promote a new kind of leadership that has less

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to do with managing and much more to do with mentoring, authentic connection,

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community empowerment, valuing everybody's voice while still being the stakeholder.

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And guess what?

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It doesn't matter what kind of hat you're wearing or what kind of jacket you got on.

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You're a leader, right?

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Where you're at with the way that you show up.

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It's now time to implement a new definition of leadership that embraces

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diversity, sustainability knowledge, elderhood respect and admiration.

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The hashtag new kitchen culture has an atmosphere of support, a structure that is

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easily understood and a clear career path through the organization in this culture.

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When the lead cook confidently decides that she's ready to

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step up to the vacant sous chef.

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She can be sure that she won't be thrown to the wolves on a Saturday night with

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a 500 seat, early bird with no support, because someone wants to know if she can

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handle herself in a stressful situation.

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She'll be ready for that job because she's been brought along

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methodically intentionally and nurtured until she is seasoned and salty.

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She will have completed written and physical skills assessment

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against established standards evaluated and given a plan in the

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areas where she could improve.

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She'll taken part of mock service and role play.

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So that the first time a frustrated server comes into the kitchen.

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After taking a verbal beating from the guest, who's committed to being right,

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the new sous chef, won't take it as a personal front to be questioned,

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but will be an active participant in the guest recovery, assisting the

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server to get grounded and centered so they can finish the shift together.

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She will have been trained and encouraged to believe that her greatest

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asset isn't in her tool bag or in her head, what she brings to the table,

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what you all bring to the table.

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or more precisely to the line is the only thing that makes a difference worth

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valuing your open and receptive heart.

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In other words, this operation and all our kitchens need to become crucible

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of greatness because the only two measure of any chef success is not

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magazine covers, bullshit, scripted, reality shows, money or awards.

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I firmly believe that the only accurate metric to use in qualifying a chef's

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success is to find out how many of his or her staff have gone on to

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become successful chefs in their own.

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In partnership with a chef and not despite his or her influence, my promise,

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commitment and mission are to assist you in becoming the master mentor.

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You always knew you could be.

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You could very well become a culinary professional who is

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respected, admired for your ability to elevate those in your operation.

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Most deserving of recognition, inclusion and empowerment.

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You can become the type of chef celebrated as a brilliant and intuitive mentor who

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saw and encouraged greatness in others before they could see it themselves.

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In that humble, but awkward moment of praise.

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You're gracious enough to receive the recognition without argument

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or false modesty because you know that it hasn't ever been a question

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or calculation, bravery or courage that caused you to encourage and

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foster the dreams of others for you.

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It's simply been the right thing to do.

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you understand that it has never been about you.

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It was always about the dreams and aspirations of others that you supported,

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encouraged and enabled by your mentorship, experience, guidance, wisdom, and patience

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for now, let all the others make the fuss.

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We have work to do let's start enjoying our careers without

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sacrificing our lives, loved ones, sanity, sobriety, and that unique.

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You have that?

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No one else can replace replicate, take away, shut down or discard

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without your permission, your heart.

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We chef we chef.

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Thank you for letting me talk to you.

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Thank you for letting some of this in.

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I really appreciate your attention.

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I see you.

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I value.

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I believe in you have a great shift.

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I'll see you on the other side.

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That's it for this episode of chef life.

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Radio's line check here at chef life radio.

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We believe that working in a kitchen should be demanding.

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It shouldn't have to be demeaning.

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It should be hard.

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It just doesn't have to be harsh.

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We believe that it's possible to have more solidarity, unless suck it up.

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Sunshine, more compassion, less cutthroat island.

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We believe in more partnership and less put up or shut up more.

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C.

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And a lot less, fuck you finally consider for a second for

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all the blood, sweat rashes.

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And sometimes even tears we put into what we do really.

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It's just some stuff on a plate.

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None of it really matters.

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It doesn't define you as a person or make you any more

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special or less than anyone else.

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Just the dance that we're engaged in.

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So we might as well laugh and enjoy every bit of it.

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Even the crappy parts while we're doing it, or didn't, you know, that the

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purpose of your life should be to enjoy it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

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Chef life radio, all one word.

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Check us out on the web at www dot chef life.

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radio.com, Stan tall and frosty brothers and sisters.

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Until next time here at chef life radio.

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Be well and do good.

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This show was produced, recorded and edited by me, Adam Lamb at the

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dish pit studios in Bardo, North Carolina, chef life radios line