Leading a Team is a Lot Like Being a Chef

You might not be in a literal kitchen, but being a leader is a lot like being a chef.

Chefs are masters of balance — they have to put in the exact right amount of different ingredients and experiment with variations to create delicious dishes. Too much of one ingredient can change the taste of the entire meal.

As a leader, you must balance two essential ingredients: humanity and technology. Humanity is ensuring your organization stays human, focusing on purpose and doing good. Technology is investing in the right tools so you can be productive, efficient, and scale.

Technology and humanity are often viewed as being at odds with each other. But you must invest in both to create a successful team and organization. But like a chef, you have to balance the ingredients to get the right outcome.

If you only invest in humanity, you’ll have great people but will be slow, unproductive, and unable to scale.

But if you only invest in technology, you’ll be efficient but unable to attract talent and be creative.

How do you balance these two crucial ingredients? Follow the mindset of the chef. Be in the kitchen with everyone else. Just like chefs are always in the kitchen tasting the food and telling the sous chef to make adjustments, leaders need to be involved and advise their team members. Taste test frequently — get feedback, understand challenges, and pay attention to where you need to invest more or scale back.

As you embrace the mindset of the chef, you’ll learn to balance the ingredients of humanity and technology and create a masterpiece team and organization.

I put together a video which talks about this in more detail. Please check it out below and if you want more content like this you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.

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This episode is sponsored by Hibob.

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In case you missed it, I just launched a subscription version of my podcast. Get ad-free listening, early access to new episodes and bonus episodes with the subscription version of the show The Future of Work Plus. To start it will only be available on Apple Podcasts and it will cost $4.99/month or $49.99/year, which is the equivalent to the cost of a cup of coffee.

Fast-track your path to leadership success with The Future of Work Plus. I can’t wait for you to hear all the content we have in store!



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Jacob Morgan

4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of FutureOfWorkUniversity.com. Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work