For our first Foodie Friday post of the year let’s talk about kitchen equipment.
I’m very fortunate to cook in a kitchen that’s equipped with just about every tool for which a cook can ask. Some of these things are designed for a specific purpose (boning knife), some are improvements over an existing tool (a Microplane vs. a box grater) and some are just silly (cherry pitter). The appliances are the highest grade of equipment available to a home cook. When friends or family come over I can usually serve them something which they enjoy and of which I’m proud.
Sometimes, however, I cook elsewhere. The stove is usually electric, the oven temp is often off, the knives may be dull or only serrated and small, the pans might be flimsy. The expectation from those folks whom I’ve served before and for whom I’m cooking now is that they’ll get the same sort of meal they received from my own kitchen. Frankly, that’s the expectation I have too. Which is the business point.
We can’t blame the equipment. How many writers don’t write because they lack screenplay software? How many times have you heard a budding director say they’ll make their movie when they get better equipment? Can’t exercise because there’s no gym? What about in business – would you accept a subordinate’s excuse that they couldn’t complete an assignment because their computer failed? As a consumer, are you mollified when a restaurant fails to honor your reservation because “the system is down?”
Part of being good at what we do in business is accepting responsibility and not allowing impediments to become excuses. I’m embarrassed when I serve what I deem to be less than my best meal even if I’m cooking in a strange kitchen with rudimentary tools. I’m sure most of you feel the same way. Yet we often don’t translate that into our business lives nor enforce it as a standard on our teams. We can’t blame the equipment – we play the hand we’re dealt. The test is to see who can produce consistently great work in any environment. Even if it lacks a cherry pitter!
You with me on this?