If you can’t stand the heat…

As someone who fancies themselves able to cook a bit, I am addicted to Hell’s Kitchen and the rantings of chef Gordon Ramsay. For the better part of this season, one contestant, Matt, has done very little well other than whine about everything. The heat in the kitchen. The other contestants. His bad luck.

The interesting part about Matt was brought out in this week’s challenge, which was an individual challenge (most of the others were team-based). Each contestant was given an ingredient and told to make something out of it. Matt was given veal and, despite his never having demonstrated much in the way of skill, created something of which Gordon approved. Yet when the team went back to cook as a team, he reverted to his unskilled, whiny ways (this week, he had a “migraine”). He had the nerve to go back to Ramsey as the group left and have a chat about why eliminating him would be wrong since he gutted it out through his pain. This is the full episode recap.

I’ve seen individuals like Matt throughout my years of managing people. Their individual skills are fine – that’s probably what led you to hire them in the first place. But they seem to be totally different people when they have to work in a group. Their skills vanish under pressures, both from peers and from deadlines. They have a million excuses, generally things they can’t prove (like a headache) and you can’t disprove (like a headache). As a manager, you never quite know if you want to fire them or promote them because they do have talent. But they drag down their team in the process of drowning themselves and that’s really the determining factor. Either get them in positions where they can work by themselves or get rid of them.

Just as Chef Ramsey did with Matt!

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Filed under food, Helpful Hints

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