My boys love Gordon Ramsay.
You can see them in the header image ~ Luke is 15 and Brady is 13.
Like many in their generation, they are not really interested in high-production, traditional TV shows, preferring to watch random “You-Tubers” catch bass in east Texas or hit trick shots in golf over anything they might find on cable.
But Gordon Ramsay is a bit of an exception for them.
Hell’s Kitchen and his newest show, Next Level Chef, are among the few actual TV shows they make a point to record and watch.
My grocery bill would say it’s because they love to eat – and that’s true – but there are certainly plenty of cooking shows available to them (on TV & YouTube) that don’t involve Gordon Ramsay.
The real reason they love his shows is because of his personality. He makes them laugh, learn and sometimes even cringe and his persona feels authentic to them. As a result, they trust when he puts his name on a show (or restaurant) that it will be worth their time and attention based on the quality they have seen from him in the past.
In our upcoming book, The Authority Advantage: Building Thought Leadership Focused on Impact, Not Ego, Adam Witty and I talk about the many branding lessons that can be learned in Las Vegas, not the least of which is the value of Gordon Ramsay’s partnership with Caesars Entertainment and the many lessons it offers on the impact of building authentic Authority.
But in this blog, I want to focus on what truly makes Ramsay unique and what you can learn from it as you create content.
I find many leaders who start down the road of building thought leadership and visibility make the mistake of thinking they need to take on some kind of formal or super-professional persona to be seen as an authority. In other words, they water down who they really are and instead play some kind of role they think their audience expects of them.
But, as Gordon Ramsay illustrates, that’s the opposite of what really works.
When it comes to cooking, there are tons of options for content.
Why follow Gordon Ramsay wherever he goes? The only reason to do that is because his audience connects with and is entertained by his personality and trusts him as a result of his combination of authenticity and quality.
He has succeeded not by going with the pack, but instead by being more of who he really is, embracing his competitive spirit, showing a fiery four-letter-word personality and committing to a style that endears him to viewers who trust him as a result.
Your space may not need a Gordon Ramsay-style personality (it probably doesn’t!), but if you want to build an audience—and make a bigger impact along the way—you’d be well-served to channel your inner Ramsay and become more authentic with your content, not less.
In other words, don’t water down your personality or try to copy someone else – what makes you interesting, trustworthy, and entertaining to your audience is you being MORE of yourself.
I hope this is as empowering to you as it is to me.
When I give speeches, I always wear boots on stage. During those talks and when I write, I like to weave in a joke or two (and here and there some whining) about my Texas Longhorns’ recent run in football, lessons learned coaching my kids across sports, gripes about airplane etiquette and even a Dad joke once in a while.
I’m getting more and more comfortable doing exactly what I coach leaders to do – be more of yourself – it’s the only reason to follow you instead of the many other options that your audience has in your space.
With the growth of AI-enabled content tools and increased noise that your audience is dealing with, your personality will become even more of a lynchpin than it is now – lean into it and you will not only be more successful, but you’ll have a lot more fun along the way.