Avoiding Momentum

As usual Seth Godin’s blog gives great food for thought. When you read the piece below it amounts to self-confidence doesn’t it? That’s not always common in this part of the world. Seth writes:

“Some days, even the best dentist doesn’t feel like being a dentist. And a lifeguard might not feel like being a lifeguard. Fortunately, they have appointments, commitments and jobs. They have to show up. They have to start doing the work. And most of the time, this jump start is sufficient to get them over the hump, and then they go back to being in the zone and doing their best work.

Momentum is incredibly useful to someone who has to overcome fear, dig in deep and ship. Momentum gives you a reason to overcome your fear and do your art, because there are outside forces and obligations that keep you moving. Without them, you’d probably stumble and fall.

And yet…

And yet many of us fear too much momentum. We look at a project launch or a job or another new commitment as something that might get out of control. It’s one thing to be a folk singer playing to a hundred people a night in a coffeehouse, but what if the momentum builds and you become a star? A rock star? With an entourage and appearances and higher than high expectations for your next work. That’s a lot of momentum, no?

Deep down, this potential for an overwhelming response alerts the lizard brain and we hold back. We’re afraid of being part of something that feels like it might be too big for us.

Hint: it probably isn’t.”


Women Bosses A Nightmare?

As Annastasia Katele (pictured above) my long term and dedicated assistant prepares to manage Chanters Lodge for 2 weeks, this caught my eye from The Institute of Hospitality, of which I’m a Fellow. In our case, I’m quite sure I’m the nightmare and Anny’s the dream!

“A survey recently undertaken by recruitment firm UKJobs.net found that two thirds of respondents, both men and women, preferred to be managed by men. According to the poll of 3,000 employees, which was picked up by media around the world, women bosses are seen as a nightmare to work for as they are “loose cannons” and too “sharp tongued.”

Nearly two thirds (63%) of the women surveyed and three-quarters of the men said they would prefer to be managed by a man. Male bosses were less likely to get involved in office politics, were easier to reason with and rarely suffered from mood swings, the survey found.

Among the respondents, there were also those who would rather have a female boss (31%). They said women bosses are more approachable, friendly and understand when workers need time off to look after their children.”

Oh yes, and she’ll be co-hosting the Chanters Lodge Experience on 107.7 fm too!


Labour Investigation

Couldn’t resist this one from Derek Dawson this morning:

The Yorkshire County Council Department of Labour, claimed a small northeast farmer was not paying proper wages to his help, and sent an agent out to investigate him. The Department of Labour employee said, “I need a list of your employees, and how much you pay them.”

Farmer:- Well, there’s my farm hand, who’s been with me for 3 years.
I pay him £200 a week, plus free room and board.

Then there’s the mentally challenged worker. He works about 18 hours every day, and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about £10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night, so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.

IDL employee:- That’s the guy I want to talk to…the mentally challenged one.

Farmer:- That would be me.


Lucky Winners!

Last Sunday’s show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm -The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Soulchild – was different! Earlier in the week on a blog we mentioned that we presented prizes to the lucky members of staff who had won our World Cup Sweepstake. It was also a chance for me to thank the staff generally for their hard work and loyalty, and believe me we see plenty of examples of that! They are a good team. It was a way for us to celebrate the unexpectedly bad business of the World Cup – sometimes you must celebrate failures to see where you can go next!

We played some pretty hot tracks on the programme – not just in Zambia either ‘Aeroplanes’ by BoB and ‘Love The Way You Lie’ with Eminem and Rihanna though we had to censor the swearing. ‘Our Kind of Love’ by Antebellum and Miriam Lambert’s ‘The House That Built Me’ are latest and my type of thing. ‘Candy’ by Aggro Santos had them hopping. Check them out, those tracks are international chart-toppers!

We thought the prize winners waiting at the back of the studio to be brought forward to get their prizes would dance but it didn’t happen! They all had something to say the listeners though, and all showed and told how much progress they’ve made in their jobs in the past couple of years. Why did most of the prizes go to those in the kitchen? I’m not sure, perhaps God had something to do with that!

Having gotten rid of the World Cup coming on TV at the same time as our radio show, we now have Idols and Big Brother Africa clashing with us, so we’ll still have to fight TV for our audience and we will. We have a feeling that the lodge and restaurant business in Livingstone in the next two years is going to be a fight for market too! We’ll do our best to be right in there!

There’s another nice picture of the winners: Alice, far left 2nd, Aggy next to Alice 1st and Melinda last right 3rd. The others? All winners too!


Chanters Lodge – Winners!

Last night on our local radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Soulchild, which goes out on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm every Sunday night at 20.30 hrs we brought our three prize winners from the staff at Chanters Lodge to collect their winning cheques on air! What had they done to win prizes? Drawn the right teams in the World Cup!

Left to right Melinda Silumbwa, Receptionist, who finished 3rd (she had both Germany and Uruguay!), Agness Mwale a cook from the kitchen who won with Spain, and at the front Alice Nankamba, Acting Head Cook, who is still so sad that Holland lost, Milli Jam, our DJ also in the picture, couldn’t even get her to smile! Getting girls to smile is normally his speciality!

This was a special one off motivational draw for the staff, hoping that the lodge would do great business during the period of the World Cup – that didn’t happen! But a promise is a promise and the winners shared the equivalent of US$300 financed by management.

Congratulations to them all! On tomorrow’s show, some more about last night’s radio’s programme!


Ben Reed Has The Chanters Lodge Experience

Last night Sunday 6th June, 2010, we were delighted to relaunch The Chanters Lodge Experience on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm at 20.30 hrs with Milli Jam and George Soulchild hosting the show, and with ‘Zambia’s best known mzungu part time DJ’ (me!) very much around. So too was Ben Reed, a Guest of ours at Chanters Lodge in Livingstone. Ben writes a very interesting blog Adventures With Ben which is a must read! Zambezi FM is of course Zambia’s best loved local radio station – imitated but never duplicated.

The show kicked off with two great local tracks ‘Contolo’ by Pee Jay and JK ft Saoma’s massive hit ‘Kapiri Piri’ which we were assured meant that ‘this girl is as hot as chilli!’ After the show the Chanters Girls assured me this was the case – and that they were too! We also played Solo by Iyaz and Miley Cyrus’s latest ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ – and I guess she can’t from the sound of it! Billy Currington’s smash country hit People Are Crazy took everyone by surprise.

Ben, our Guest, had been down in South Africa doing some work for the World Cup preperations and had determined that he must see Victoria Falls before taking off back to the States. He loved Zambia it and Zambia as well as the bungee jump he’d bravely done too! You can follow Ben on Twitter @adventureswben and strongly suggest you do. He’s been to a lot of places and travelled a long way for someone obviously going far in life. There’s his photo!

We played BoB – Nothing On You and we were all of the opinion that on this particular Sunday night, nobody had anything on us as far as local radio was concerned – it was great! We were received by everyone at the station like long lost friends! Thanks Guys!

Oh! And we played Waving Flag by K’naan for Henry Chanter aged 8!


Chanters Lodge, 2010 World Cup Sweepstake!

We have a 2010 World Cup Sweepstake for all our staff at Chanters Lodge Livingstone with prizes donated by management. The winning ticket gets K1m!

We pooled the participating teams into 3 pots but as there are only 32 teams and 12 staff, and 12 into 32 won’t go, we added a few blanks in each of the pots!

The draw was made by Milli Jam our DJ on the Chanters Lodge Experience on 107.7 fm with the help of our German guest Mr Hilbert on his way to the tournament on his huge BMW Motorbike.

Winning Team : ZK1m
Runner Up: K350,000
3rd Place : K100,000
Top Scorer : If you win, Dinner for 2 at Chanters

Just some of the highlights of the draw:
Pool 1

Max: Brazil
Agness: Spain
Susan: England
Melinda: Germany
Sandy: South Africa

Pool 2
Mushiba: Ivory Coast
Alice: Cameroon
Lynette: Denmark
Junior: Australia

Pool 3
Anny: Serbia
Monica: Slovakia

Top Scorers
Max: Torres
Melinda: Rooney

Check the picture to see if they were excited!

We’ll keep updating you!

Winners to be announced after the tournament!


Sunday Morning Staff

Check this great picture of some of the Chanters Girls rather early last Sunday morning. Left to right Lynnette, Agness, Melinda, Sandy and Junior.

Thanks to Phil Broadhurst for the photo. Phil’s part of the crew filming the Lion Encounter for the ITV series ‘Lion Country’. He, Karen Partridge and Susan Houghton check out today to continue filming in Zimbabwe, and we thank them and Lion Encounter for their fantastic support to Chanters Lodge. Great people! Susan even got engaged whilst staying here, so I guess we must have done something right!

We wish the team ‘bon voyage’, and if you’re in UK don’t forget to catch their incredible programme on ITV1.


Success For Tiverton Catering Students

I liked this story by Lewis Clarke on Tiverton People Why? Well…

Petroc is the combined North and East Devon Technical Colleges. My late father taught at the East Devon Technical College in Tiverton, Devon, my home town, after he retired from the staff of Blundells School. Then of course I’ve been in the catering business throughout my career and have always taken a close interest in staff training. To top it all, I happen to have been a friend of Rick Stein’s when we were in the same house at Uppingham School in the 60’s.

Well done to the students concerned! (From left to right above): Basking in glory – Joe Martin, Jim Smith and Lloyd Gribble outside the Exe Restaurant at Petroc in Tiverton. Here’s the piece:

“Two young catering & hospitality students from Petroc in Tiverton have just been offered the kind of jobs that could sky-rocket their careers to success. Following two weeks of work experience over Easter at the famous Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, seventeen year old Joe Martin from Uffculme has been offered a job to join Rick Stein’s team when he completes his course in July. Lloyd Gribble, 18, from Tiverton, has also landed himself a top job following his week of work experience over Easter at Somerset’s Award Winning ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ – Woods in Dulverton.

The pair had worked hard throughout the year and earned their work experience – while on their work placement, they impressed, and have now been offered their dream jobs. Whilst at The Seafood Restaurant, Joe was working under the expert supervision of Head Chef Stephane Delourne and 2008 Master Chef Winner and former barrister, James Nathan.

Before starting his job in July, Joe will spend a week at the Michelin starred Castle Hotel in Taunton under the expert supervision of Richard Guest. Joe said: “When Head Chef Stephane offered me the job I accepted immediately, I was delighted. I can’t wait to start in July. I couldn’t believe how friendly everyone at Rick Stein’s was.”

Lloyd has been offered a full time job by Paddy Groves, owner of the renowned Woods in Dulverton. He said: “I was so impressed by how organised the kitchen was, it was great. Once I’ve finished my Level 3 qualification in July I’ll be starting at Woods.” Jim Smith – Chef Lecturer at Petroc, who had organised the work experience for Joe and Lloyd through his connections said: “It’s fantastic that both the lads did so well.

“Both Rupert Wilson the general manager at Rick Stein’s and Paddy Groves the owner of Woods had nothing but praise for our students and that makes me very proud. “We hope that this is the start of a good relationship between the college and these businesses.”


No Limit

Seth Godin gets it right on his blog. I wish more people had this attitude.

“It’s absurd to look at a three year old toddler and say, “this kid can’t read or do math or even string together a coherent paragraph. He’s a dolt and he’s never going to amount to anything.” No, we don’t say that because we know we can teach and motivate and cajole the typical kid to be able to do all of these things. Why is it okay, then, to look at a teenager and say, “this kid will never be a leader, never run a significant organization, never save a life, never inspire or create…”

Just because it’s difficult to grade doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taught. Never mind a teenager. I think it’s wrong to say that about someone who’s fifty.

Isn’t it absurd to focus so much energy on ‘practical’ skills that prep someone for a life of following instructions but relentlessly avoid the difficult work necessary to push someone to reinvent themselves into becoming someone who makes a difference?

And isn’t it even worse to write off a person or an organization merely because of what they are instead of what they might become?”

The picture? Or son Henry nearly 8 and full of it, enjoying a day out in Botswana!

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