Gordon Ramsay: 4 Lessons this Angry Chef Can Teach You About Success

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Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is an angry man. He is also a very inspiring man who knows a lot about the hospitality industry. In his massively popular television series, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, he takes God forsaken eateries and turns them in to five star restaurants. Love him or hate him he knows how to do his job.

In this article I want to take a look at a few lessons Gordon Ramsay has taught me about the pressures and stresses of my work and how to turn them into success.

What Gordon Ramsay can teach you about work success

1. When you are wrong, admit it
One of the first things you notice about the show is that Gordon Ramsay goes after people who don’t admit they are wrong the hardest. He rides their backside until they either cave in and start crying or they storm out and quit. In Ramsay’s restaurants there is only room for those people who are willing to learn and grow and if you are not ready to admit that you were wrong you are going to lose out.

In this video you will see Chef Ramsay go to town on a French Chef who won’t admit that he was wrong. It starts a huge argument and the two almost have a fist-fight. In the end Ramsay walks out and the chef misses out on an opportunity to learn from one of the most successful restaurant owners in the world.

Sometimes it is better to leave your ego at the door and admit that you are wrong.

2. Success requires mistakes
If you look at any successful person in the world you will see that they have made a lot of mistakes in their past. The difference between them and unsuccessful people is that they learned from their mistakes and moved forward while others let themselves be defeated. The same is true in Ramsay’s restaurants.

The restaurants that do the best on this show are the ones that admit that they have made a mistake and get ready for Ramsay’s lessons. The ones who fail and end up shutting up shop are the one’s that refuse to learn from their mistakes or refuse to admit they have even made a mistake.

Take a look at this clip about a Pizza owner who was making horrible frozen Pizza’s and letting his business go down the toilet. Ramsay came in and changed things up. The Pizza guy was willing to admit he made a mistake and once he decided to change things around the business took off again. However, I am told that as soon as Ramsay left the restaurant the Pizza guy went back to his old ways – he didn’t learn from his mistake.

3. Some lessons will hurt
Along the way we are bound to encounter some career lessons that are going to hurt. These lessons will be about the way we conduct ourselves, the way we conduct our business or about the person that we are becoming. Sometimes these lessons will hurt.

Take a look at this clip where Chef Ramsay goes into a pub and tells them that everything on their menu is “gross”. He then goes into the kitchen and sets fire to some of the equipment that the pub chef was using in order to teach him a lesson. It was a hard lesson to learn but the chef took it well and grew as a result of it.

4. You won’t always like people’s methods
One thing you notice when you work in a firm with lots of other people is that everyone has their own way of doing things. Quite often you will have one manager telling you to do one thing and another manager telling you to do something completely different. It can be quite annoying.

It is important to realize that you are not always going to like the way your superiors do things. However, they are your superiors and you have to do what they say. Getting upset about it isn’t going to help.

In this clip above Ramsay tells the local chef that his food is rubbish. The chef doesn’t like the way Ramsay delivers the bad news and starts getting upset because he feels Ramsay is talking down to him. While this may be true (Ramsay does talk down to people) it would be a much smarter idea for the local chef to listen to the bad news, accept his mistake and move on with the learning phase. This is partly about good communication skills – you need to be able to communicate with people you like and people you don’t like.

We can also see in this clip that Ramsay has spoken in a way the local chef deems insulting. Instead of accepting Ramsay’s methods she tries to slap him in the face!

Conclusion on Ramsay’s lessons

Success doesn’t come easily. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and harsh lessons. It is important to learn from these events and not let them drag you down. Gordon Ramsay is the perfect example of how success often comes only after some serious emotional work.

6 thoughts on “Gordon Ramsay: 4 Lessons this Angry Chef Can Teach You About Success

  1. I’m not entirely sure that bending over backwards to please someone shouting in your face IS the best way of learning.

    All of these chefs have ideas and visions of their own. Yes, their restaraunts might be failing, but in actuality, most of them continued to fail after Ramsay visited. They experienced a brief boom thanks to the publicity of the show, and then folded – regardless of whether they followed Ramsay’s advice or not.

    If your superior at work is screaming and shouting at you, and setting things on fire, I think you would be perfectly justified in leaving.

  2. Keira – I get what you are saying and I agree with you. My intention wasn’t to tell people to become mushy little walkovers in their workplace. Rather I was trying to say that sometimes the people you learn from are jerks and it is better to accept it and learn then carry on and complain.

    Don’t you think?


  3. Yeah I think the daily minder makes an important point, sometimes in life we miss out on the most important lessons because our ego prevents us from recognising and accepting our own weaknesses. This resistence is only heightened when the message is delievered in an abrasive way by a cantankerous prick like Gordon Ramsay, but at the same time these sorts of people (with massive personality disorders) are often the most brilliant at what they do. At the end of the day you have to ask two questions, does the persons message objectively have some merit to it? (regardless of the delivery) and if so, then is the benefit so substantial that it outweighs the sacrafice you make in swallowing your pride to continue to recieve it. In a short term situation like these chefs are in I would almost certainly say yes.

    But it is a trade off – and it is worth noting that Gordon Ramsay left his first job training under a brilliant French Chef because he got tired of the bullying himself – How do you like your irony served??

  4. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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