Of Chefs, Cooks and Dishwashers
February 22, 2020
If the world were a Restaurant and if one had the opportunity to pick any of the 3 jobs on offer which would it be – Chef, Cook or Dishwasher.
The Dishwasher- The lowest end of the value chain. Its just about completing a task. A task that needs to be done- cleaning the utensils which go to cook the next dish and serve the next customer. There is no skill orientation required here.
The Cook- This is the role with a Job Description to follow instructions and prepare the dish as per the recipe. A good cook is one who follows the instructions of the recipe best. Cooking is a skill. It needs some learning and effort. With the right effort, the cook can become skilled.
The Chef- This is the role that creates intrinsic value in the restaurant. The value is in the dish listed on the menu. Creating the recipe for that unique dish requires something that goes beyond mere skill- It requires initiative, imagination, creativity, experimentation and most importantly a willingness to fail, learn, fail, learn….till the right dish happens .
The chef needs to know how to clean the utensils and how to cook. But more importantly, she needs to know what the consumer desires and how she can match her skills and effort to conceive an idea of the dish and create something original- it may be in terms of flavour, ingredients, design, presentation.
The Chef is the one taking the risk of creating something that could fail. But the Chef also gets to enjoy the Big success and rewards that come, when the market and the customers like the dish.
The reward experienced by the Dishwasher, the Cook and the Chef , is a function of the relative value each one brings to the restaurant and its customers.
I am using The Chef, The Cook and the Dishwasher as a metaphor for our mindset.
Whatever be the pursuit we have in life and career- a student, an accountant, a doctor, a software engineer, a banker- What mindset do we want to bring to the task at hand. That of the Chef, the Cook or the Dishwasher? The choice we make defines the kind of growth we experience at any point.