Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What are the 10 things you can learn about leadership from Masterchef?

I admit it! I love watching Masterchef not because I am really interested in cooking, but I do enjoy watching and listening to George, Garry and Matt advocate for their ‘cause’. As leaders they are great promoters of the experience (craft), insight (art) and analysis (science) of cooking. They support and promote the chefs, cooks, and food producers of Australia. I enjoy seeing the wonderful places they travel to and the produce of our great nation. I like the way the show has contestants that are diverse in age, gender, faith, sexuality and culture.      

So what are the 10 things you can learn about leadership from Masterchef?

  • Teamwork - developing productive working relationships
  • Occupational Health and Safety – watch those fingers with those knifes!
  • Don’t make excuses - as Matt said the other day “excuses don’t cut it”
  • Your vision or plan might need to change if the resources aren’t available, be creative – if the ingredients aren’t there think of something else
  • Task risks - experiment and try new things 
  • Be a learner – humility “Can you help me please?”
  • Be open to feedback – take on the tips that are given to you  
  • Cut to the point and be smart about how you do things
  • Self-reflection – knowing when you don’t do well
  • Believe in yourself - tell yourself you 'can' not 'I can't'

When you think about the contestants who do well on the show it is not based solely on their ability to create a good dish. It is often about how they manage themselves and how they work and lead others.

Managing yourself is a core leadership competency which includes paying attention to your ‘way of being’. This means observing yourself and how you react to others in various situations. It also means being open to learning so that you can adapt, change, develop, improve and grow.

Working with and leading others can be observed or not observed in the Masterchef Team Challenges. The contestants who engage and encourage others, who listen and develop a shared plan are the ones who win. Self-reflection and being an observer of yourself is crucial for leaders because you have the influence, power and capacity to cast your shadows on other people you work with.  Your shadow sides are the sides of yourself that are dysfunctional, unhealthy, under or over-developed. We see some of the contestants 'shadows' on Masterchef.

So next time you sit down to watch Masterchef,  I invite you to observe the show from the perspective of a leader… 

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