- Jeremy Floyd - http://www.jeremyfloyd.com -

7 Steps to “Cake Boss” Your Next Project

Have you ever watched Buddy Valastro and his team craft amazing cakes? There’s something magical, creative and truly amazing about the cakes from Carlo’s Bake Shop. More than the Jersey, feel-good experience that Buddy creates, there are a few secrets to team success.

  1. Listen. First of all, Buddy starts by listening to his clients. He listens to the details of their story; he listens to their ideas; but most importantly he listens to their desired outcome. So often, we are building while the client is still talking.
  2. Over-deliver. If his clients expect an 8 he is going to deliver a 10. If they are expecting a 10, Buddy is going to deliver an 11. Every time the audience of Cake Boss peers into the reveal, we see clients that are in awe because Buddy seeks to “wow” his customers.
  3. Stirring in the same direction. Buddy is careful to get the team on the same page. After the creative juices gel, he paints the mental picture of what shape the culinary creation will take.
  4. No compromise. Sometimes you have to throw out the brownies with the batter. Buddy’s attention to detail and meticulous focus on the end delivery means that sometimes you have to rethink your great idea in order to deliver WOW.
  5. Ask stupid questions. Buddy doesn’t resist the opportunity to ask the basic questions, “so… how is this going to work?” Truth is, we could all use a healthy dose of this truth syrum. Sometimes we are far “smarter” than we need to be, and the greatest asset on the team is the person that says “sure we could spend 100 hours to do it that way, but what if we spent an hour doing it this way.”
  6. Be tough. From deadlines to straight lines, sometimes our team needs another perspective to keep us all honest. Rather than fearing the pushback, every team needs the person that keeps us on time and keeps the icing on the top of the cake in line.
  7. Have fun. Buddy is the first to throw a little fondit for the fun of it. Projects are stressful, and occasionally we need to let our hair down and have fun.

Whether you like “Buddy’s way” or the resulting creations, we can all take a few lessons on our teams to make more wow.