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Bridle Research and Development Limited

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15 AUGUST 2009
A little can go a long way!

by Paul Bridle: Leadership Methodologist, International Researcher, Author, Inspirational Professional Speaker, Consultant and Facilitator.

I love cooking but the skill is the ability to get the right ingredients and cook the food well, but know how much spice to add. Too much spice can ruin the food and too little can be bland. With spice, a little goes a long way. It made me think about leadership.

How much of a leader are you? How much of a leader do you need to be? Like spice we can be too much of a leader and become too involved. Equally too little can mean the leadership is really lacking and nothing really happens. It is a challenge to find the right balance. Too much does not enhance the food or bring out the flavour but rather smothers it.

There are times when more is needed. If you want a hot dish, it means you add more spices, which means that you need to be more involved and even vital that you are in control. But not all dishes need to be hot dishes.

So how do you run your business? Do you try to dominate the taste? Or do you try to enhance the flavour and bring out the best in the food? At the end of the day, you want to create a great experience for the person eating the food and not to make the meal distasteful.

Leadership is about creating an experience for the customer that makes them want to come back. It isn’t about dominating their taste buds and being the only taste in the dish. This month I am asking you to consider your leadership style and think of it like seasoning. You want to add enough seasoning to bring out the best in others. You need to be consciously considering how much we need to be adding.

Cooking is an art like a conductor in an orchestra who brings out the best of the various musicians and does not try to play all the instruments themselves.

So I ask you to consider the following questions:

  • Your job is to enhance your team, so how will you do this?
  • When issues arise, do you rush in and dominate the situation or season the others to bring out the best in them?
  • Are you asking the questions that bring things out or telling them what to do?

Cooking is an art and it requires ongoing practice to try new and better ways to enhance the meal. A good chef works at the dish learning what works and what can be improved upon. Once you have refined the dish, you then start again with another dish. It is a constant process of learning.

Take time to learn what works or how much leadership your dish or team needs and enjoy the learning process as well.


Bridle Research and Development Limited
Paul Bridle is an Information Contextualizer and Leadership Methodologist. For over two decades he has researched effective organisations and the people that lead them. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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