Lessons from Jiro dreams of sushi

A couple of months ago I was in Tokyo, Japan. As a Sushi lover I visited several Sushi restaurants. Can you imagine a restaurant with only ten seats and a toilet outside? It’s located in the center of Tokyo and believe it or not, it has three Michelin stars. It’s the Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant. You can only visit the restaurant if you made a reservation several months in advance and be prepared that you can’t choose from a menu, and it will cost you at least 30.000 yen per person.

The very successful owner and famous sushi master, Jiro, is already 85 years old and his philosophy is based on six qualities of a chef.

Looking at these qualities I was wondering if these are applicable for project management too.

1. Devoted. The willingness to out-perform at the highest level.

A project manager must have the same behavior. If he wants to be successful he has to go for the extra mile.

2. The willingness to grow. Tomorrow you must be better than today.

Think about learn from experience, collect lessons and use them in future projects instead of re-inventing the wheel.

3. Cleanliness. If a kitchen isn’t clean, the food can never taste delicious

If you, as a project manager, don’t have your project hygiene, e.g. documentation, progress reporting in place and up to standard it will be hard to be successful.

4. Impatience. In most cases you see that people who can better direct than follow are impatience.

Here we have to be careful. A project board has to direct a project manager and in many cases the project board can be impatience, but it has to be the project manager who needs to combat this impatience and delivers what is asked for with the right quality to achieve satisfied stakeholders.

5. Stubbornness. To push through your own opinion.

A project manager has to create an approach, a plan and has to stick to this plan.

6. Passion

Unnecessary to say, but with passion you can achieve much more, so also for a project manager. It’s much easier to convince, to manage your team if you can show passion for the project, for the art of project management.

If you take all six qualities into account, it will definitely help you to be more successful. And if we look at all these unsuccessful projects we can ask ourselves why do we not use more of these qualities?

For those who are interested have a look at the movie (documentary) Jiro dreams of Sushi.

 

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