Friday, August 6, 2021

Jose Andrés' 4 Pieces of Advice For Responsible Leadership

Chef José Andrés is trending. The 52-year-old chef from Asturias (Spain) has been in the spotlight for the last few weeks after Jeff Bezos announced a donation of 100 million dollars for his charity, World Central Kitchen. In addition, José Andrés will be decorated with the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord, an award that highlights his fight against poverty and inequality.

"This award (Jeff Bezos' donation) alone cannot feed the world. But this is the beginning of a new chapter for us: it will allow us to think beyond the next hurricane to the bigger challenges we face," José Andrés told Forbes.

José Andrés' organization has been working for years, together with farmers and restaurants, to provide people with fewer resources with healthy and nutritious food, something that has become especially important in times of pandemic. But, in addition to World Central Kitchen, the chef is the owner of a large business group, ThinkFoodGroup, which has about thirty restaurants in the United States.

José Andrés' tips for responsible leadership:

In this line, José Andrés identifies four essential skills for anyone who wants to become a responsible leader, making a difference and generating a positive social impact.

You are only as good as the people around you. Team building is one of the keys to success as an entrepreneur. In this sense, José Andrés states that "we should give more credit to the people who made us who we are, who took the time to teach us a new skill or a bit of wisdom. Also to those people who cover our blind spots, those who do a specific job that complements what I am doing. We, the people, will always accomplish more than I, the person."

Empathy. "Both of my parents were nurses, and from a very young age, I saw the importance of small gestures, that when you're going through a difficult time, they make you feel that someone else cares about you. We bring out the best in people when we show them respect, dignity, and empathy. Empathy wins the day, all the time," reflects the chef.

Flat organization charts. For José Andrés, leadership should not be channeled through a traditional hierarchy. Thus, he opts for a flat organization chart, where "everyone can see each other and communicate quickly, can understand where they fit in, can clearly know the mission and be prepared to achieve it: those are the organizations we should all strive to have.

Don't lose the illusion. Using the metaphor of cooking, the chef points out that "maybe you don't have all the ingredients at home that you wanted, or maybe you overcooked the dish you were preparing". As a solution, José Andrés bets on creativity. "You will be surprised at what you are capable of doing. As Winston Churchill said, success is going from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm".

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