Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crab Soup

I have prepared a wonderful crab and corn soup yesterday. Forget about fake crab, we're talking about the real thing. 'Reminds me, sometimes I watch weird cooking shows on television. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares would be one instance. Gordon Ramsay has also another popular television show named Hell's Kitchen and its sixth season has recently concluded.

Hell's Kitchen is not exactly what I would call quality programming and it's more entertainment than instructional; but it does not mean there's nothing of interest.

Ramsay's management is definitively noticeable. He yells, verbally abuses, throws food at people, kick garbage cans and whatnot! He is a straight-talker, makes no compromises and rarely compliments his staff. “He is a bad boss,” most people would utter without hesitation nor any further investigation. Ramsay nevertheless claims to have a 85% staff retention rate since 1993 (see here).

Your ideal boss is charming, calm, polite, and tells you that you are the best. He pays you lunch at times and it all makes you feel good. You feel respected. Popularity has a direct correlation with the ability to hide one's true feelings. Basically, it means the better the liar, the more popular.

Such an idealized boss as described above might as well be a psychopath. “Psychopaths are typically very likable”, according to an article entitled “Is Your Boss a Psychopath?” (quiz here). Psychologist Robert Hare thoroughly studied criminal psychopaths and developed a checklist, Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), that has also been applied to corporate world. Be aware of what you wish, because it might become true (and not exactly what you expect).

I expect from people working for me discipline, honesty and take responsibility for their actions. It's a tough ride on anyone because it is demanding and exhausting. One could say that my personality is mostly being serious. Ramsay would say that I am too soft when it comes to management, even though others would instead say that I am overly demanding. Isn't it a strange world?