Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — Praise

Posted on: October 22, 2010

David Ogilvy, founder of the famous Advt firm O & M, had to discontinue his college education for various reasons. He then joined Majestic Hotel, Paris as an apprentice chef.

When young David worked in this hotel, the head chef was Monsieur Pitard. He was well known for his perfect cooking style, and a short temper to go with it. He got upset with even the tiniest mistakes and never hesitated to fire someone on-the-spot for lack of perfection.

Rookie David was very afraid to work with Monsieur Pitard. He was looking for an opportunity to run away from there and try for a different / better career. Till that happens, he decided to stay away from the head chef.

One day David was cooking a difficult dish and decorating it before it is served to the guest(s). Monsieur Pitard noticed this and came near him. He didn’t say anything, silently watching David’s every movement.

By then, David was literally shaking and shivering. Somehow he knew this is going to be his last day at work.

But the famous head chef surprised David by praising him for his decorating skills. In fact he called all other chefs and told them to observe David and learn.

Later David Ogilvy mentioned this as one of the proudest moments in his life. That unexpected praise was one of the prime reasons for his continued success and professional growth.

(David Ogilvy – Picture Courtesy:

Do we praise our co-workers, sub-ordinates, family members, friends and others enough? How much is ‘enough’?



N. Chokkan …

22 10 2010


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