I have a very good friend, Tedd Romero who grew up in Vallejo California. Not a well know town, other than the birth place of pro athletes, rappers and high crime rates. Affectionately called “V town”, Vallejo sits on water in the north east corner on the San Francisco Bay Area. Tedd started his culinary career at Taco Bell. Today he is the Executive Pastry Chef at Lucy Restaurant at the Bardessono Hotel in the Napa Valley. Tedd’s journey in life started as so many do, with a single mom trying to raise a son while working all the time to provide. He wrestled in school, got into trouble, met his future wife, Alesha, and had a son all by the time he was eighteen. When I met Tedd and Alesha and their son Daniel, Tedd was already a gifted Pastry Chef working atop the financial district in San Francisco at the famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel. What I didn’t know was that he was sleeping on the couch and living out of a box while his wife was getting their divorce papers together. They were introduced to me by a good friend and business partner, Victor Scargle, a very famous and very good Executive Chef, and Tedd’s former boss.
Victor wanted to work with Tedd again and Tedd saw the opportunity. Tedd and Alesha immediately started to listen to and read to the personal development materials. Then I got a call from Tedd asking for some counsel, “I got laid off today. The last time this happened I got so depressed it took me nine months to get another job. I don’t want that to happen again. How do I fix that?” He explained to me that in the cooking world when an Executive Chef is fired it’s standard operating procedure to lay off everyone that chef hired, due to loyalty and sabotage issues. After explaining the difference between looking for a job and wanting work (there is always work for those that want it) we set out a two piece game plan.
First – You get whatever you focus on, so focus on creating. If you want to be hired read good books and start with The Magic of Thinking Big, two hours everyday until hired. Listen to audio talks & seminars, eight per day, everyday until hired. This will guarantee you have a positive attitude and put you in action creating.
Second – People are hired because they are the most persistent, not because they are the most qualified. Dress as if if you were going to be interviewed and go into as many places each day as you can and meet the person in charge—the owner if possible—but at minimum the person who does the hiring. Shake their hand, look them in the eye, ask their name, how long they have been with the company, and what they are looking for in their staff. Give them a resume (after getting help putting it together; it shocks me what people leave out that is valuable!). Ask when they are interviewing next, tell them why you want to work there and what you bring to the table. A work ethic, a willingness and ability to learn, and a great attitude should be the bare minimum. Smart managers and leaders hire attitude first, because you can always teach technically ability. It’s a waste of time to drag a negative complainer into your company. Two days later call and talk with whoever you gave your resume and application to and ask if they have scheduled any interviews or have an idea of when they might be. Remind them why you want to work there and thank them for the time and consideration. Two days after that, stop in again and see the same person, this time with a letter of recommendation. Many places will tell You they don’t take them, but leave it with them anyway, most will give you a higher ranking because of it. Call again two days later and ask what else you can do to work for them. Persistence and Massive Action always Win!
Tedd worked the game plan and ten days later had four job offers. An interesting note both: he and Alesha made growing on purpose a new habit, reading and listening daily, attending seminars monthly and getting counsel regularly from then on. Some of the byproducts of their new learning curve were promotions, a better marriage, and a new daughter, Leticia my God-Daughter. Eighteen months later Tedd had a very different experience with that next employer. He came into work to find the Executive Chef that hired him had been fired that day, but something very unexpected followed. The General Manager sat down with him and explained that they would normally let him go at this point, but they were hoping he would be willing to stay on without her, his former Executive Chef, citing the reason that, “You have become such an important part of the Leadership here.” Tedd has never been laid off since.
This year Tedd’s current Executive Chef and close friend Victor Scargle encouraged him to compete in a prestigious fish competition. It is funny to me because Tedd doesn’t like to eat fish, yet he not only won the Northern California competition he also placed high enough on the West Coast to be given an all expense paid trip for him and his wife to New York for a week coming up in December.
Where does a young guy from V town become a famous Chef and win free trips to New York? In the world of rags-to-riches stories, like a Tim & Amy Marks. Better information leads to better thinking and better thinking leads to better results, every time!