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Communicator of the Week: Top Chef Sebastien Bras

I am a great believer that it is up to an individual to measure their own performance. I have found this is, without doubt, the best way to make incremental, sometimes marginal, gains in whatever you are pursuing. Of course useful, motivational and knowledge-based feedback to inform the self-evaluation is something I would also recommend. But when an individual is in charge of creating their own feedback-loop, and they apply it consistently, then noticeable improvements in performance will soon follow. 

This is true whether aiming to present better, run meetings more efficiently, handle difficult conversations or any number of measurable activities that make up an average working day for many of us. Give it a try in an area you want to improve and see how you get on. 

This week’s award winner has spent his entire working life pushing himself and trying to be his absolute best to achieve recognition from others. The chef Sebastien Bras is an amazing blend of passion and perseverance underlying his obvious talent. You don’t get and then hold three Michelin stars for 18 years any other way.   

Ultimately though it seems that Bras has spent nearly twenty years working toward a goal - and achieving it - just for this goal to fill him with stress rather than happiness. He has announced that he no longer wanted to cook under the huge pressure of being inspected by the Michelin inspectors. 

It must have been immensely difficult for Bras to give up his top rating and effectively hand back his Michelin stars ahead of publication of the 2018 guide next week. There is no higher accolade in cooking. His restaurant, Le Suquet, was one of 27 restaurants in France which held the top award. Now he has said he is keen to "start a new chapter” “without wondering whether my creations will appeal to the inspectors”.  

I hope his restaurant goes from strength to strength and that his new freedom allows him to just as creative and brilliant but also happier. Unless you are passionate about the process you need to follow to achieve external recognition and rewards then that process will not be enjoyable. You are also unlikely to be successful for long. For recognising this, and taking a huge courageous step to be “less famous” I make Sebastien Bras my Communicator of the Week. 

Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.

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