To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity – Douglas Adams
Integrity is my word for 2017.
I was brought up by parents for whom integrity was a fundamental value. They taught me to set high standards in the work I deliver, to keep my word and follow through on my promises, to arrive on time and meet deadlines, to respect and be considerate of others. I’m sure you have a similar code of conduct that you grew up with.
The same way, the industry demands integrity of chefs in the following ways:
- You learn the trade the hard way – even if you’ve been to culinary school, you only get a context by doing the hours in a real kitchen
- You work your way up the ladder the hard way (generally)
- You follow certain standards in how you physically show up to work every day
- You can’t rush through a cooking process or necessarily take shortcuts sometimes
- The quality of your raw materials will show in the final product
- You’re constantly surrounded by food but you feed yourself last
- You give your all to making and serving food, whether you’re compensated adequately for your work or not
- You go to great lengths to grow your knowledge and skills
- To respect the kitchen and its rules
But all these rules are hardly enough. If you really want to excel, then you have to set your own standards and live by them. Unfailingly. As the quote above suggests, you have to add something extra.
Because I know I want to give 100% to this work, I framed a way of living that creates space in my life for the things that ground me and lets me operate from the best version of ‘me’. My routine includes meditation, adequate self-care, monitoring my finances, etc.
Can you think of practices that you can adopt so that you show up to your work with the fullest integrity?