Seven Words to Success
Creativity comes in many forms and one of my favorites is both the presentation and taste of food. Today’s guest blogger is a man of many talents and I know him from his culinary expertise as well as his skillful management style. About a year ago, Bill shared seven words with me and I asked if he would write a blog and offer them to our readers. Thankfully, he agreed.
And now the page is his.
It was about 11:00 am, the kitchen was a flurry of activity! The chef was barking out orders to his production team, and the pantry team was constructing the cold plates and salads being featured at the evening meal. The service staff was carefully setting the tables for approximately four hundred guests in this one of 13 dining rooms.
We were featuring a celebrity chef at the Ivy League university where I was employed as a food service director. The chef had arrived at 5:00 am that morning and I picked him up at the railroad station. He was a charming gentleman, very polite and extremely humble – not a common trait in most chefs, let alone a celebrity chef – who had enjoyed much fame and notoriety. I might add that I am a bit of a control freak and since I was hosting the chef at my college everything needed to be flawless. The day was progressing smoothly… then the e-mail came from the executive director of dining, telling us that there was an emergency conference call at 12:00 p.m. sharp.
All of the food service directors got on the call, each of us extremely aggravated that a call would be conducted on such a busy day. You see, at this Ivy League university, there were thirteen colleges and each were to produce the same celebrity chef meal for dinner service that night. In total, we were to feed approximately 5,000 people. We did not have time for a conference call. The executive director got on the call and informed us that the menu for the evening meal had been changed by the celebrity chef. You could have heard a pin drop!! The food service directors all began to express the extreme concern we had for making such a drastic change to a menu for 5,000 people with only four hours until service.
That’s when I heard the seven words that will forever change my life. The executive director told all of the food service directors, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” The call was over just like that.
I have worked in the food and beverage industry all my life; I have owned several successful restaurants and food service companies. I’ve also had my share of failure and disappointment in this line of work, but those words, spoken to me that day, “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” were a gift. That simple phrase pushed me to a new level, not just in my career, but in my life. I can happily tell you, that we made the alterations needed to the menu; we spun on a dime, and executed the event “flawlessly”.
The experience left me feeling very proud and made me truly realize that when we are pushed, really pushed, we can do things, that at first glance, seem impossible. We do not go through experiences in our lives; we grow through experiences in our lives.
I am also a martial arts and self-defense instructor. It is my job to bring people out of their comfort zones and teach them techniques that force them to go far beyond what they believe they are capable of. Every time I teach a class and I share this gift with my students. I have come to understand how powerful and empowering these seven words are.
Feel the fear and do it anyway!
William J. Severino Jr.
To contact Bill regarding either of his businesses: food service consultant and self-defense business, please call 203-444-6961