How trying an Egg Salad Sandwich led me to Empower People to DO|LEARN|BECOME MORE.
By Greg Pattison
I am in the break area of a silicon-valley based tech company analyzing some quick lunch options in the cooler. Asian Sesame Ginger Wrap, Open-Faced Prosciutto Parma Sandwich, Seared Spicy Tuna Roll, and an Egg Salad Sandwich. This is not your typical offering to say the least. This is one of those tech companies employing Michelin Star chefs which makes the Egg Salad sandwich offering that much more puzzling to me.
I was 39 years old at the time and had always replied “I don’t like egg salad sandwiches” when offered one. I had never tried egg salad. But, somewhere along the way, I convinced myself I didn’t like it. You don’t have to be an adventurous eater to indulge in egg salad. It’s not like it’s a delicacy typically reserved for those of privilege. It’s egg salad!
Intrigued by its place among these other offerings, for the first time in my life, I got to see what went into an egg salad sandwich. Right there on the glass they place the recipe for the meals prepared. I carefully read them. Hard boiled eggs, mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, green onion, green leaf lettuce, salt, and pepper on wheat bread. Huh! I said to myself (out loud actually), “I like every one of those ingredients. How could I not like them together?”
So, I went for it. I reached in, grabbed the sandwich and standing right there in front of the cooler took my first bite. And, just like that, the sandwich was gone. I ate the whole thing in a matter of seconds. Granted my first ever egg salad sandwich was prepared by a Michelin Star chef, you could see how I literally got the best possible “first time” in egg salad history.
Why make a change now? I’ve had a pretty good run up until this time without it. Then the saying popped in my head, “when was the last time you did something for the first time?” There was magic in those ingredients. You wouldn’t identify them as anything special. But, brought together, they became so much more.
The egg salad sandwich was a staple in the cooler while other fancy offerings rotated in and out daily. I usually ate lunch at one of the many onsite restaurants. But, now, I was intrigued by the role the egg salad sandwich played. Plus, I was trying to make up for lost time. By the end of lunch, there would always be fancy offerings left. But, never any of the egg salad sandwiches.
What was so special about the egg salad sandwich? The ingredients were your typical hardworking mainstays – your pantry staples. But, they came together to make a popular crowd pleaser unanimously chosen by the staff. My takeaway from studying its relationship to the other offerings…it doesn’t have to be a fancy new fad, tactic or strategy. No special sauce! It is about doing the right things right. The Michelin Star chef led the ingredients into making something special.
Prior to eating the sandwich, I had a relatively successful business career in managing sales and operations. But, it was just that…management. I kept our head above water in troubling times, made modest gains in smooth times and had tremendous success when the time was ripe. I was a good manager. The sandwich helped me see things clearly. My “aha” moment!
Post sandwich, I began a journey to unselfishly inspire those who worked for and with me. I sought out the hardest of business challenges. It was in those times, some of the direst of industry climates, we would deliver our finest results.
I had spent a great part of my career in the postage meter manufacturer/direct & dealer business-to-business sales channels. The decline of physical mail seriously impacted the industry. As the postage meter market continued to dwindle in favor of digital web offerings, each year in the business brought me more success than the last.
Let me give you an example of how to inspire someone unselfishly. Before I do, ask yourself these two questions. “When you coach, develop or support your people, do you focus on improving their abilities to help you or to help them? Do you develop them to make you look better or them?”
A direct report was seeking growth into a leadership position. Together, we designed a specific development and action plan with one major modification. I gave them what they needed to surpass my current position. I am not talking about standard succession planning. But, truly setting them up to become successful as my peer and beyond, as a result. I facilitated their development, based on a goal that someday I may report to them. Before the sandwich it was about me – the manager. Afterwards, it became about them – with me as their leader.
I was not giving up my ambition to one day be the leader of a company. It just felt right showing others the path there too. As my team got better through unselfish inspired development, so did my performance and opportunity. Our business units thrived. Our culture was unmatched. Our people were inspired. Because of our work together, we became empowered to do, learn and become more. One Team, One Goal!
Are you achieving the goals and objectives placed on you, your team, your company? Does your company have a culture problem? Are your employees engaged? Are you engaged? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s time for your egg salad sandwich moment.
Trying an egg salad sandwich led me to empower people to DO|LEARN|BECOME MORE.
President & Chief Empowerment Officer, Greg Pattison, LLC.
Empowering People to DO|LEARN|BECOME MORE.
To learn about Greg’s story, visit the section “I did it with elan!” at www.gregpattison.com.
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Originally published on October 20, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau