Gordon Ramsay is the cantankerous, world famous chef, TV star, cookbook author, and millionaire restaurant owner. He is well known for his entertaining TV shows Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and the F Word. He probably swears more than anyone else in the world and he has even been awarded an Officer of the British Empire (OBE). I recently read his biography “Humble Pie” with great interest.
So what does Gordon Ramsay have to do with tech sales?
Nothing directly, other than being an incredibly successful businessman, but we always talk about sales as a profession where you make something from nothing and this man is the epitome of this philosophy. His childhood was characterized by an abusive father, drug addicted relatives, and regular moves. To escape this chaos, he left home by his mid teens to live on his own. The bigger the challenges he faced, the more determined he was to be successful. “My mother gave me the strength to keep going no matter what life throws at you.” After becoming a premier league soccer player in the UK, an injury forced him to pursue his second passion at the time, cooking, and in the course of a decade he became a world class chef. “I am one of the most driven men you will ever meet.” Now he owns a multi-million dollar business empire. “My life is about success and hard word.” He is never done and exclaims “if I stop, I would cease to exist.”
Some characteristics about him that you can’t help but admire:
- Fiery passion – he is animated, energetic and injects passion into everything he does – he makes a piece of toast as if it might be the last act of his life
- He has no tolerance for mediocrity – he expects the customer experience to be exceptional in all aspects from taste, presentation, ambience and value and if it is not exceptional, he gets upset
- He is a perfectionist who leaves nothing to chance – he will test and practice over and over so that when he is preparing a new dish it not only tastes perfect, but he will be able to make it flawlessly when the kitchen is operating at peak hours
- Highly focused– he can turn off everything around him to concentrate on what he is doing at that moment and expects the same from those around him
- He chose to be successful – his biography includes countless stories of times he was faced with great obstacles and chose not to give up but to fight on in pursuing his dreams
- Nothing in life is free – he never pretends that he achieved any of his successes without hard work
He is honest – with himself and the people around him and hates people who lie
- He doesn’t cry over spilled milk – he makes mistakes, faces his losses and moves on, not worrying about what might have been, instead focusing on what will be
- He made huge sacrifices to be successful – several times he took menial jobs working for abusive bosses so he could work alongside professionals who taught him great skills
- Intensely competitive – when he talks about his achievements, he ranks himself against other restaurant entrepreneurs and how he will exceed their achievements
These are peak performer attributes and if you are a sales person who practices even some of these behaviors, I have no doubt you are very successful.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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