Volume XXI, Number 44 (Issue 1048) October 23, 2023
Which One Are You?
A few weeks ago, Sandy, (aka my wife and much better half) was at a conference in Dallas where one of the speakers posed the following question to the attendees: Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? Of course, the initial response was a sea of puzzled faces. I imagine those looks are being mirrored by most of you at this moment. Clearly, the question requires a bit of explanation. So here goes…
If you put a carrot, an egg, and a coffee bean in boiling water, you get three very different outcomes. If you place a carrot in boiling water, the carrot becomes soft. Place a raw egg in boiling water and the egg becomes hard. Place a coffee bean in boiling water and the bean changes the water.
Thus, the more fundamental question is will you be changed by your environment, or will you be the change agent that alters your surroundings? For many of you I am betting your initial thought is I want to be the coffee bean. Certainly, that was my choice. After all, who doesn’t want to make an impact on those around them, not to mention the world? However, it strikes me there are times when we are well served in letting those around us reshape us and our beliefs. For instance, teachers, mentors, coaches, trainers, faith leaders, parents, our grandparents, and spouses to name but a few all have the capacity and tendency to change us for the better. Likewise, the company we keep (particularly during our formative years) routinely impacts our thinking and behaviors. We all know the expression “you are known by the company you keep.” Thus, it pays to choose wisely. Peer pressure can, after all, be intense and unrelenting – good or bad.
Thus, there are times when it pays to be the carrot. Other times it pays to be the egg. But most of the time it is best if we can play the role of the coffee bean. That ability and capacity to be what is needed in the moment is what effective leaders do.
Soli Deo Gloria
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
J. Keith Hughey
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com
Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.