Friday, September 7, 2007

Are you talking to ME?

Guy Kawasaki post on Steven Smith book “egonomics” is worth the read.

Question: How can humility survive in a capitalistic, “dog-eat-dog” market?

Answer: That’s the cool thing we discovered in our work, and the perceived “weakness” of humility is the assumption even in a question like this one. Humility is the only real way to become great, everything else being equal. As a trait, humility is the point of equilibrium between too much ego and not enough. Humility has a reputation of being the polar opposite of excessive ego.

In fact, the exact opposite of excessive ego is no confidence at all. Humility provides the crucial balance between the two extremes. When Jim Collins did his work in Good to Great, humility was one of only two characteristics he discovered that separated leaders capable of leading good—even very good—performing companies, and leaders who made their companies great performers. And all of those leaders who lifted their companies to greatness and sustained them for over fifteen years did it in the same dog-eat-dog world everyone else was in. Humility was custom made for the dog-eat-dog business world.”

The restaurant universe is awash in ego. Chefs who believe the world revolves around their culinary skills, to restaurateurs who are certain the next project will be successful regardless of what happened to the last. Confidence is integral to survival in the restaurant industry, however the effects of inflated ego’s have left untold carnage in its wake. Rarely is success the product of only one person’s efforts. Ego eventually comes around to understanding that a successful restaurant is the work of many hands working in unison.

Yes, is the answer to the question, “are you talking to me?”