Wow … what a weekend of food! I mean I spend most of the weekend immersed in the world of food and wine, other than my walk around the golf course this morning to wear some of it off. I love everything about food. I love eating good food, I love cooking food, I love watching other people make food, I watch the food network on television and I take pictures of food. When we cook at home it isn’t usually a half-way affair. When I say we, I really mean me because I get into it. Not that Kendra doesn’t cook, but I often don’t make room for her in the kitchen. I love the creativity, I love working with my hands, I love the nurturing aspects of making sure things are watched and coddled along to their perfect state. So its tough for anyone to push me out of the kitchen!
Last Saturday was a perfect example. We had four friends over for dinner and it was a really nice evening. Great people, great conversation, great wine and hopefully great food. That was the evening. The morning was spend shopping for everything we needed, and my afternoon was spent in the kitchen. At least four hours standing at the island chopping, preparing, planning, pre-cooking, making appetizers and cleaning up. I was totally immersed in it.
A quick break for a shower and a chance of clothes and I was right back to my station once our guests arrived, ready to start putting the meal together in earnest …
- Arrival cocktail of white peach sangria
- Appetizer of Belgian endive spears stuffed with herbed goat cheese, prosciutto and medjool dates.
- A beautiful heirloom tomato, arugula and mozzarella salad prepared by our friend KR.
- Coffee and spice rubbed beef tenderloin with caramelized onion/espresso/port sauce
- Porcini mushroom risotto
- Young maple rum glazed carrots
- Peanut butter fudge cake for dessert
- Café latte for those who wish
All in all I would say that there was seven to eight hours of work that went into that meal, and that doesn’t include all of Kendra’s efforts to make the environment welcoming and provide a table that would welcome our guests visually … at least another three hours. What’s amazing about the whole thing is that I would estimate that we spent less than an hour eating! Imagine that .. a 10:1 ratio of preparing and doing!
Then for good luck I did it all over again Sunday afternoon making a tomato sauce from scratch … peeling, seeding, chopping and cooking it down over several hours.
I met with my coach, mentor and friend Kerry Parsons on Friday (you guessed it … food was involved). We had a great discussion, but one question Kerry asked me was really the trigger for me writing this post. She asked me what it would take for me to fully commit to doing everything I need to do in order to make the shift from my current career into my planned future as a coach in the field of essential leadership. As I was preparing these meals our discussion kept coming back to me with cooking as a metaphor for life.
Am I willing to do all of the preparation in my life that will allow me to partake of the “meal” or results of my work to make things happen for myself?
It’s an interesting analogy. My answer was an immediate yes, but I want to spread that effort out over time. Some meals are made that way, but for most the preparation is done all at once. What would need to change for me to do that? Am I comfortable doing that? What would stop me from doing that? If I don’t do that, will I get to where I want to be?
The bottom line for me is that I think I’m comfortable with my plan to do things a little more slowly, but I really did see that no matter what the plan, the preparation has to be done before you can eat. That sounds so obvious, but when we are talking about change and about personal growth sometimes we don’t fully embrace our part in making it happen.
As leaders, how do we support our team members through this journey? Do we inquire about their dreams and plans? Do we ask them what it will take for these to come to pass? Do we make resources available to them that will assist them on this journey? Do we, in the most supportive way possible, hold them accountable to their own dreams and plans such that they can partake in the meal that awaits?
Let’s not wait. Let’s just get at it and cook up a feast!