Leadership Nightmare

Alright, don’t make fun, but I had some free time recently and I enjoyed a few episodes of the show Kitchen Nightmares on Hulu.com. If you have never seen it, the premise is a professional chef attempts to rescue restaurants that are going under. Usually the food is horrible, the kitchen is dirty, and there is just no inspiration at all. The show is a little over the top, yes, and it’s definitely a mind-numbing type of show. But I found one thing about it especially interesting.

No matter what the details were (nasty food, pests, mold) in the end every restaurant had the same problem. They were led by people who were egotistical, who cared only about themselves, their image, and what they thought. Example 1: a chef who kept pointing out he was voted best chef in the county at some point, who blamed the dirtiness of his kitchen on his staff rather than take control. Example 2: An owner who spent profits on himself rather than buy working equipment, yelled at his staff constantly, and spend most of the night drinking and eating the food rather than running the business. Example 3: A chef who banked on his 37 years of experience to justify everything he did, and a sous chef who just didn’t care about anyone else’s opinion. (They were actually fired in the end.)

It was all amazing to me, everyone had the same problem: poor, self involved leadership and the results that entails. In the last restaurant, the manager was the son of the original owner. He had no confidence to get his business under control, and the place was run by an egotistical chef. Come to find out, his father was a man who saw no value in others and who berated his son constantly for never being as successful as he was. . . another egomaniac. So the problems of the father drifted down and caused new personal issues for the son who could not take control of any situation. It is amazing the damage poor leadership and self-absorption can do.

Contrast this with the ways of Jesus. If anyone, he had the right to stand strong, be proud, and be the boss. Instead, he humbled himself below everyone else. He was the servant, and in being so led people to a completely new way of life. His way of leadership was healing, not hurtful.

It is such a dangerous responsibility being in leadership. It is a gift and task given to us by God. If you are in any sort of leadership, whether is secular or in the church, this should be humbling and scary. You have been given a chance not to dominate with your power, but to serve others to bring them along in their journey. Everyone leads someone at some point on some level. So start evaluating: are you serving when you lead? Are you in it for yourself, or are you in it for those you lead?

Oh, and by the way.  Once the leadership had a change of heart, every single restaurant turned around.

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Back to the Future

One of the many shows that FOX didn’t know what to do with is actually coming back.  Following in the footsteps of Family Guy, Futurama is moving to Comedy Central next year.  Now if I can only convince them to bring back Firefly!

A Hulu Christmas

Christmas can come early! Yesterday I received an email informing me I was accepted as a beta tester for Hulu.com. In case you’re not familiar, Hulu is an upcoming site where viewers can watch videos from television and even movies, with commercials built in to pay for the thing. I’m not sure if you’ll have to subscribe and pay when the site goes live or not.

Either way, it’s a fun Christmas gift for me. I can catch episodes of the Office, SNL, The Simpsons and other stuff I haven’t had the chance to even check out yet. Maybe I’ll make it through the writer’s strike after all.

YouTube, MTV, & Evangelism

I came across something really interesting on the Catalyst Blog. There are these new commercials airing on MTV and some other stations. You can find them on YouTube.Each one features a character discussing their life in some way and each one is based on one of the ten commandments. At the end, viewers are given the number 1-888-NEED-HIM. At this number there are people to talk to about life and God. The purpose of this whole thing is to evangelize and reach people.

First off, I really think these spots are well done. It’s great to see a Christian concept in culture that isn’t poorly done or cheesy. It may be unfair though, but I am always really cautious about this type of evangelism. On the one hand, each of these is a positive touch and makes a great point. They will obviously be seen by lots of people, and I pray that many people will be helped and reached for Christ through this.

However, having grown up in a church culture that was afraid to meet people face to face and that often used tracts as a crutch of some sort, I always want to strongly encourage other Christians to spend as much time as possible with non-believers. I tend to shy away from tactics that try to push really fast for the “turn-over.” I do think some people have made fast decisions that may not understand what they were doing fully, or who may have never been connected with a church community, and that can be detrimental. I am in no way saying people are not reached and converted in this way. I’m just cautious.

That being said, I really do applaud these well-done spots. I really want to find out more about what this group is doing, and I would encourage anyone to use these a jumping off point to a spiritual conversation with a friend.

So what do you think about this kind of evangelism tactic? How effective is it in the long run, and how often should we use it?

New DVD Tuesday 12/12

DVD’s Coming out Dec 12th

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:  This movie was a little disappointing. It was fun to watch, but compared to one of the best books in this series, it was a let-down.  One bright spot was the great portrayal of Professor Umbrage.
  • High School Musical 2: This movie is so ubiquitous.  Thankfully, I have not yet seen it.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum:  Somehow, I have not seen any of the Bourne movies. 
  • Lost: The Complete Third Season: Lost is one of if not the best show on television.  I am frightened that it may not come back as scheduled because of the writers strike.  Those of you who saw the cliff hanger last season know how hard it would be to wait much longer.  If you have never seen this show, rent or buy the series and catch up now!
  • Frasier-The Tenth Season: This was a great show that I wish I had watched more at the time it was on the air.  I still haven’t seen most of this series, but I love what I have seen.
  • Live in Las Vegas, A New Day, Celine Dion:  I just don’t see her appeal.
  • The Chronological Donald, Volume Three:  As a child, Donald Duck was one of my favorite cartoon characters.  I still have a stuffed Donald, very much the worse for wear.
  • Big Love: The Second Season:  I find the idea of this series interesting, but found it mostly boring when I attempted to watch it.  Maybe it’s just me.