Some of the most famous chefs in the world turn the concept of information-sharing on its head. You’re probably familiar with culinary greats like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Julia Child or Kylie Kwong. Their successful cooking shows, recipe books, and restaurants have made them household names.
However, being really good at cooking doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be a famous chef. These chefs became famous because they’re honest about their cooking. Instead of guarding their best cooking tips, they share them with the world. They bring viewers into their kitchens and teach them how to emulate their success. They take questions and receive feedback.
The way chefs openly share information is an excellent model for how we could all be more successful through greater transparency and honesty. Their success is directly related to how delicious their food is and how well other people can replicate what they’ve done.
When you’re at work, do you feel that your boss mentors you? Does the company offer you resources so that you can grow? For those in management positions, do you find yourself guarding your techniques for success, or do you openly share best practices with colleagues and employees?
Cutthroat practices won’t get you ahead
Competition to be the best is intense these days. Good jobs are hard to come by, and many people feel that they need to be sharks to get ahead. People who are successful may be tempted to keep what they’ve learned to themselves.
This aggressive environment breeds paranoia. After working so hard to get to the top, it’s understandable that some people may not want to make it easy for individuals they view as competition.
The problem is, that’s small thinking. You may benefit in the short-term from adopting such a mindset, but in the long-run nobody gains anything. Without mentorship and the open exchange of ideas, companies don’t thrive. It’s important for leaders to help their subordinates grow so that the company can grow as well.
Chefs know the recipe for success
Chefs give away their best cooking tips day and night, but there can be only one Gordon Ramsey or Julia Child. Despite the fact that everyone is eating, these famous chefs aren’t losing their jobs to their viewers. Their life’s work is to help others grow their knowledge. We can adopt this mentorship model regardless of our work environment.
Cooking celebrities don’t worry about losing out because they know that recipes and methods are only small parts of the equation. Their unique personalities and experiences mean that even if a viewer mastered all their techniques, they aren’t going to put them out of business.
Encouraging others to emulate our success requires us to believe in ourselves. We have to have the confidence to know that even if we train someone to follow in our footsteps, that doesn’t mean that they are going to be better than us or try to take our jobs.
Instead, the success of our mentees is a mark of our own success. As we show colleagues and employees best-practices, we should also continue to grow our skill sets. It’s gratifying to think that the next generation of workers can benefit from our experiences. Meanwhile, we know that individuals bring something unique to the position that can’t be replicated easily.
Just like most celebrity chefs explain cooking techniques so that anyone can understand them, we have to remember to be inclusive. By inviting new people into the fold, we banish the notion of exclusivity, and all the negativity that comes with it.
You’ll grow more by helping others
Approaching coworkers with a collaborative spirit not only makes your work environment more pleasant –it also makes you an asset to the company. There are a few simple ways that you can start developing this positive culture today.
1. Be a mentor
Take the opportunity to mentor someone at work. Find a buddy or a group that you can work with so that you can push each other to grow. Create a safe place for giving and receiving feedback and passing along best practices.
2. Make your intention to help others known
Many people are too shy to ask for help, or they don’t realize how much they could benefit from working with someone. Let others know that you’re willing to support their growth or give constructive feedback if they’re interested. When they need a second set of eyes on their work, they’ll know that you’re the right person to talk to.
3. Be transparent
Being secretive and having a hidden agenda leads to a lack of trust. If you’re open and honest, people will see that you don’t have hidden motives.
Cultures of success are built on open sharing
Happy employees don’t go through their days worried about office politics or their colleagues’ ulterior motives. Like chefs on TV, they openly share what they know so that everyone thrives.
Featured photo credit: Brad Neathery/ Freely via freelyphotos.com