This article first appeared on August 6, 2014 in The Chattanoogan.com. Enjoy.
Last week we discussed a mission in your life or career as being the initial starting point of all actions to follow. The reason why this is so critical is staring you in the face, right there in your kitchen each time you are hungry and think about preparing something to eat…
What are you hungry for? What have you got in the fridge or pantry? How much time do you have? Do you have all of the correct ingredients? Do you know a good recipe and how to execute it properly? Is it worth the effort for you to cook, or will you settle for some junk food, simply to fill your belly?
Now, let’s assume you really, really crave a certain dish you have seen before…spoiler alert – this could be a metaphor! Your desire to enjoy this is overwhelming all of your senses (and your good judgment), so you decide to make this a reality, right now! You have just committed to a mission; it’s a mission with a very specific goal upon completion. You may never try this one again, but today, you’re all in- win, lose or draw. OK, what happens next?
Hopefully, you have learned, prepared yourself and memorized a successful approach to a dish of this type, one that has worked for you in the past. If not, you will attempt to overcome a lack of knowledge with your enthusiasm and persistence, coupled with your tendency of just “winging it” as you have so many times before, in similar situations.
Without taking your eye off the prize, you start grabbing everything you can find to get this process started off on the right foot. It quickly becomes obvious that you have not preplanned, nor prepared properly for this mission, for you are missing key ingredients, spices and don’t quite remember the temperature, time or proper sequence of blending it all together. All you can remember for sure is the taste of success. At this point, you will recognize the folly of this mission and retreat for more training & supplies, or decide on the fly to change the recipe and “invent” a new formula that will be a winner. You have just flown into delusional airspace.
Your cabinet has many great spices, but each has special characteristics and reacts with others to create a unique and tasteful combination, pleasing to most people. You would not grill a hamburger or steak smothered in sugar, nor would you bake a coconut pie with Heinz 57, yet repeatedly, most folks do this in life and business.
Make it a habit to use tried and true recipes when sitting across the table from a prospect, client or boss…basic and good is better than exotic and awful. There is a reason there are 27,000 McDonalds…all exactly alike.
About the Author: Bill Hewgley is President, Metalworking Solutions, LLC, a company he founded after retiring as President of American Manufacturing Company. One of his chief priorities is to mentor this upcoming millennial generation, while honoring those who helped him find his own way in life, by passing it on.