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Hot Under the Collar

Optimize Blog - January 7, 2013 - 0 comments

A British doctor has become the first person out of 300 intrepid gastro-nuts to finish the world’s hottest curry at a UK restaurant, which has the scary name of ‘The Widower’.
After signing a disclaimer acknowledging his awareness of the risks involved with eating the curry, Dr Rothwell, a consultant radiologist, tackled the chicken dish which tops six million units on the Scoville Scale and is hotter than a drink of anti-riot tear gas.
The curry, which is stuffed with 20 Naga Infinity chillis, and which scarily is only the second hottest on the planet, is so dangerous to make that it has to be prepared by chefs wearing goggles and face masks. What the hottest curry in the World consists of we can only guess……
It took just over an hour to accomplish the task and this took into account his need to walk out of the restaurant half-way through after suffering hallucinations, returning a short time later when his wife found him wandering along the high street.
Such an eye watering act of gastro courage is impressive and no doubt required a good deal of fortitude to see it through when so many before had tried and failed. Just because others had failed didn’t deter Dr Rothwell from taking on the challenge and there is a leadership parallel here for us.
Sometimes as leaders it is too easy for us to not do the right thing because we have seen others try and fail. But the right thing to do is the right thing to do. We need to understand why it failed in the past and learn so as not to make the same mistakes as others had before. Perhaps it was the way it was communicated, perhaps all the risks had not been considered fully or perhaps it was a case of wrong or bad timing.
Whatever the reason, just because others have tried and failed doesn’t mean that we cannot be successful. We need the confidence, resilience and relentless approach to getting the job done – to finish the dish despite set-backs. Many organizations hit a wall and fail to overcome it – Dr Rothwell hit a wall the same as the previous 300 but he managed to get past it and finish the task. For leaders it is about getting beyond adversity and achieving success.
Having a clear strategy and executing on that strategy is key. The modern leader needs to be able to take stock, face reality, act quickly and execute ruthlessly. They need to be flexible, focused and most importantly, personally accountable for the results.
The owner of the restaurant was impressed with Dr Rothwell commenting ‘Apart from spotting a few tears in his eyes, and the short period of hallucinating, he was cool and collected and seemed to cope very well’. We could do without the hallucinating bit but hopefully as leaders we are also seen as cool and collected as we execute our plans……

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