Welcome to Part II of “Motivational Wisdom from a Chef Rat” where Disney movie Ratatouille’s star and uber management guru, Remy the Rat, shares his motivational wisdom and inspirational insights:
> BE REAL – BE YOURSELF
When Anton Ego, France’s most notorious food critic who can make or break a restaurant with a single review, makes his appearance at Gusteau’s, Remy’s culinary talents are finally put to the test.
But instead of preparing a fancy delicacy worthy of Gusteau’s esteemed patrons, Remy chooses to make a homily Ratatouille (a vegetable stew made of eggplant, tomatoes, green peppers, and squash). It’s a common folk meal fit “for peasants” the assistant cook declares.
Remy ignores this slight and goes with his heart. It’s genuinely him and what he knows. He prepares an exquisitely rapturous, mouth-watering Ratatouille dish that just blows away the critic. As Ego takes his first bite, his cold exterior immediately melts in delight as he is brought back to sweet memories of his Mom’s home-cooking.
This was an emotional scene for me as well. In my case, it brought back sweet memories of my father’s home-cooking. My father passed away in a car accident eighteen years ago, and yet, I can still fondly remember savoring his Ratatouille. It was one of my father’s favorites and he used to brag all the time about knowing how to make this French specialty. My brothers and I used to laugh as kids at the funny sounding name and how my father would roll the word off his tongue with such relish.
Bottom line: be yourself and ignore the critics.
> TALENT CAN COME FROM ANYWHERE
When Linguini (I don’t come up with these names), the supposed up-and-coming star boy chef at Gusteau’s, reveals that the real inspiration behind his cooking is Remy the Rat, the entire staff thinks he’s lost his mind and promptly leave the establishment.
Lesson: the best talent and ideas can come from anywhere and sometimes do come from the most unexpected places.
Don’t pre-judge people. Just because someone’s a rat doesn’t mean they can’t cook!
Likewise, don’t be easily impressed by degrees, pedigrees, fancy titles, wealth, or so called experts. You have to carefully evaluate whether their talent or ideas will help move YOUR career or business forward. Sometimes that means seeking a second or third opinion.
> CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR
When famed critic, Anton Ego, asks to personally speak with the head chef of Gusteau’s, he is told to wait.
Check your ego at the door and tell it to wait. Don’t let success get to your head. And give credit where credit is due.
When Linguini steals all the limelight and attributes Gusteau’s new found success all to himself and his love interest, it breeds sour resentment in Remy who eventually leaves Linguini to his own devices.
You decide what’s more important to you: your ego or your career. An effective leader always shares the limelight and generously gives credit, while a poor leader hogs up all the accolades creating resentment and unwanted enemies.
f you want to fast-track your success, go out of your way to catch people doing something right and give them the credit they crave so desperately and rightfully deserve!
> ASK FOR A NEW PERSPECTIVE
When Anton Ego makes his grand appearance at Gusteau’s to put the final nail in the coffin, he literally asks for a new perspective. “Surprise me!” he demands asking for something new off-the-menu.
We don’t always have to go with the canned selection that’s offered us – whether it’s provided in a menu, business proposal, job offer, meeting agenda, or course curriculum. We can ask for a new perspective.
I suspect Ego was a management guru in his past life as this is great advice for managers as well. The next time you hold a meeting, ask for a new perspective. Or ask in advance of the meeting that each person come prepared to attend the meeting with at least one new idea or new way of doing things.
Ask them to surprise you. The results may indeed surprise you – and hopefully for the better! (For added emphasis or just for fun and humor, take your team out to see Ratatouille or play clips from the movie at your meeting once it comes out in DVD).
Speaking of management gurus, I’m thinking of co-authoring a follow-up to Dr. Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese.” I think I’ll call it: “Who Made My Ratatouille: Motivational Wisdom from Remy the Rat.”