Leadership Skills

Besides basic skills and a strong work ethic, employers also look for employees who have leadership skills. Leadership is the ability to motivate others to cooperate in doing a common task. Leadership is a quality every employee should practice.

Leadership Organizations

You do not need to wait until you are employed to develop leadership skills. Many organizations and programs help students develop leadership skills. Two such organizations are FCCLA and SkillsUSA. (See Figure 4.2.)

J j FIGURE 4.2 | Leadership Organizations

Professional Programs Many student organizations, such as FCCLA and SkillsUSA, can help culinary students develop leadership skills. How do you think they help develop leadership skills?

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

FCCLA is a national organization of middle and high school students who take family and consumer sciences courses. FCCLA activities and skill events provide opportunities to develop leadership skills. One FCCLA program, Leaders at Work, is for students who work in food production and services or hospitality and tourism. Students can create projects to strengthen their communication, interpersonal, management, and entrepreneurship skills.

Students also can participate in challenging competitions such as the STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events. Members may compete in areas such as culinary arts, entrepreneurship, and interpersonal communications.


SkillsUSA is a national organization of high school and college students who are enrolled in training programs for technical, skilled, and service occupations. SkillsUSA programs team up students with industry professionals to provide the SkillsUSA Championships.

Foodservice students can compete in contests for culinary arts and commercial baking.

Students are judged on technical skills, sanitation and food safety practices, food quality, and their creative presentation. Students can also compete in food and beverage service. Competitors demonstrate skills in table setting, greeting guests, taking reservations, menu presentations, and meal service.

Professional Organizations

Professional foodservice organizations can help foodservice employees sharpen their skills. Employees can also learn about new foodservice trends. Many professional organizations sponsor conventions and classes. There are organizations for all parts of the foodservice industry, including cooking, baking, and management. Some professional organizations include:

• International Association of Culinary Professionals

• American Culinary Federation

• American Institute of Baking

• National Restaurant Association

• Research Chefs Association

Use Resources Effectively

A resource is a raw material with which you do your work. It is up to you to make the best use of these resources and to avoid wasting them. The key resources are time, energy, money, things, and people.

You can use time effectively if you perform activities quickly and carefully. You can also learn to prioritize, or put things in order of importance. The world of food service is fast-paced. Time is your most limited resource. It is important to use your time well.

Use personal energy resources effectively. Get the right amount of rest, nutrition, and health care to do your job well.

Whenever you do a job that costs or earns money for your employer, you have an opportunity to practice leadership. If you are responsible for making purchases, look for good value for the money. If you receive money in payment, be careful and honest.

The materials, equipment, and tools used during your job are resources. Use supplies properly and carefully. Immediately report any damage to equipment and supplies. Always take care of your uniform, tools, supplies, and work area.

The foodservice industry has rushed service times preceded by slower preparation periods. You waste people resources when you perform your job so poorly that someone else has to redo the work.

Use Information Effectively

Information comes at you from countless sources. On the job, you will need to gather, use, and share information. You will also need to decide which resources are best for the job you must do.

Gather Information

Information that is useful for your job is everywhere. You can get information from newspaper headlines, radio and TV news bulletins, and the Internet. Learn the difference between useful information and idle chatter, false statements, and misleading opinions. Be careful when you gather information from the Internet. Some Web sites contain false information. Reliable information comes from known sources, such as government agencies or businesses.

Use and Share Information

Information by itself is worthless until you use it. You show leadership when you can gather, understand, evaluate and use information in a way that benefits your business and does not harm others.

Do not keep important information to yourself. The whole team benefits when you share knowledge that you have learned. Effective leaders share information with their team members and with other managers. They also recognize the difference between sharing useful information and spreading negative information, such as gossip, that can hurt others.

Use Technology Effectively

You will encounter and use computer technology in foodservice. However, technology is a resource. It is not a replacement for a skilled employee. You can learn to use technology effectively as a resource. This can mean knowing how to operate a point-of-sales computer system or an entire automated production line. The technology you will operate depends on your job. All kinds of cooking equipment, such as thermometers and convection ovens, use improved technology.

Here are some tips to keep in mind: • Apply Basic Computer Skills You can adapt your knowledge of standard computer software to use foodservice computer technology. Computer use ranges from entering restaurant orders and tracking inventory to running automated food production equipment and converting recipes.

• Respect Computer Resources If your employer provides you with access to a computer, use it for business purposes only. Personal e-mail, Web surfing, online chatting, and computer games are inappropriate at work.

• Use Your Own Skills Computers can help with many aspects of work and running a business. But do not expect computers to do your job. Computer technology can help you, but a computer cannot think or solve problems. Be sure your basic skills are strong enough to compensate, or make up for the lack of something, when the computer system goes down. Commit yourself to learn and maintain the technological processes that apply to your job.

are some sources where you can gather information?

SECTION 4.1 ^ZZKIttmi Review Key Concepts

1. Describe three important math skills needed to work in the foodservice industry.

2. List the characteristics of a reliable employee.

3. Identify key resources a leader must use to be successful.

Practice Culinary Academics ^^^ English Language Arts

4. Imagine that you have been asked to lead a foodservice team that will prepare and serve refreshments for an upcoming school event. Create a flyer to attract volunteers for your team. The flyer should list the qualities you want in team members to help you carry out your task. It should also contain information about the event, and the food that will be prepared. Use graphics on your flyer, if possible, to make it more attractive.

NCTE 12 Use language to accomplish individual purposes.


5. One of your customers asks for her check. If she ordered $86.25 worth of food and drinks, and the local sales tax is 8V4 percent, what is the amount of sales tax due?

^^^^^ Converting Percentages to Decimals Find the percent of a number by converting the percentage to a decimal and multiplying by that number. If the percentage includes a fraction, convert the fraction to a decimal first.

Starting Hint Rewrite 8V4 percent as 8.25%. Convert 8.25% to a decimal by removing the percent sign and moving the decimal point two places to the left (0.0825). Multiply 0.0825 by $86.25 to determine the tax due.

NCTM Number and Operations Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.

fijl Check your answers at this book's Online Learning Center at glencoe.com.

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