Friday again, so let’s talk about food. I was doing just that with a friend if mine the other day about Mother Sauces. In classical French cooking, these are the basic sauces upon which all other sauces are built.
Yes, he’s a trained chef and we were discussing the menu for the restaurant he is opening. I was telling him the acronym I use to remember them – it’s “Bring Elvis His TV” – Bechamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomato, and Veloute. Interesting, I know, but why is this appropriate in a space where we talk about business? Because it got me thinking about what the Mother “sauces” are for business folks – what are the basic traits one needs to posses and upon which all other skills are built?
After giving it some thought, this is the list I came up with:
Intelligence, Creativity, Self-Discipline, Strong Sense of Ethics, Leadership, Ability To Communicate
I originally had things such as Critical Thinking and Decision Making on the list but I think an ability to do those things derives from other things on the list – small or secondary sauces in the business world. I find that as I think about the folks I know who are most successful they posses most of the traits on my list. Then again, I don’t define “successful” solely as “rich” or in a top job. I add things such as “respected by everyone”, “making the world a better place if they can”, and a few other qualifications that get beyond making a lot of money and extend success to others business people achieving their goals.
When I hire, I look for people who possess the mother sauces of business even if they haven’t quite figured out how to apply them. I’m not sure one can teach these things if someone doesn’t have them as part of their nature but I do think we can help people improve what they do have.
What do you think? What’s on your list? Have I missed something or added something you don’t think belongs?