Read This If You Ate Dry Turkey Last Week

“Save the neck for me, Clark” – Cousin Eddie

Why do we do this to ourselves every year?

We say we’re going to cook it according to the recipe, but that never works.

And so, year after year, we end up cooking the same dry turkey.

And since we’ve been cooking turkeys for hundreds of years, theoretically since the pilgrims landed in Massachusetts in December of 1620, you would think we’d have figured it out by now.

But we did.

Here’s how it actually works

It turns out that the white meat is different from the dark meat. It has less fat, among other things, and so the white meat cooks at a lower temperature than the dark meat.

This means that while the dark meat is becoming juicy and tender, the white meat is overcooking to that predictable, stringy, papery texture.


So how do we fix it?

Smart cooks figured it out.

It’s called spatchcocking.

You basically butterfly the turkey and lay it out on the baking tray.

Spatchcocked Turkey

The convection around the turkey allows the temperature to be lower near the breast and higher near the thighs. I know, it’s perfect.

So, then, why do we insist on cooking dry turkey every year?

Because of this:

When Norman Rockwell painted “Freedom From Want” in November of 1942, it was published in the magazine The Post the following March. It resonated with many people because of the socioeconomic hardships many Americans were facing.

It resonated so much that, to this day, we cook our turkeys to look like the one in the painting.

That’s about as far as I can logically explain the phenomenon.

So, as we floss the remainder of that turkey from our overworked teeth this week, let’s consider how we’ll approach the last of the winter holidays.

You can choose.

It’s not taste vs. aesthetic.

It’s taste vs. sentiment.

And the sentiment can change–but we have to change the way we cook the turkey first, and then the sentiment will follow.

And then, pretty soon, with enough people, we’ll all have spatchcocked turkeys.

And then, not long after that, spatchcocked turkeys will be the way we’ve always done it.

And then the taste and the sentiment will be in harmony.

But it does require you to do something different, first.

It requires you to be the first to change things from the way we’ve always done them to the way we do them now because the way we do them now is better.

2 Minute Action:

Quick: write up a list of things that you do that you’ve always done. On it, you might have ways to cook a turkey, but it might also have ways to get married, process TPS reports, or retire.

Now pick just one of those things that seems important and urgent.

If you could design it from scratch, for what you need, according to what you value, how might you do it?

Read This If You Think You Don’t Have Any Authority

I’m not the supervisor.

I’m not the manager.

I’m not in charge here, so I’ll do whatever the boss wants.

Do any of these sound familiar?

If someone promoted me, then I’d have the authority to lead.

Once I’ve been knighted, then I’ll have the nobility to influence others.

Once I’ve been bequeathed the royal blah, blah, blah . . .

Leadership doesn’t come from authority. Some people use authority as though it were, and many people follow as though it were–but that’s not what leadership is.

Leadership is assertiveness, not aggressiveness.

People want authority because they want to:

  1. Control the environment around them.
  2. Be immune to scrutiny from above.
  3. Have the freedom to say and do what they really want.
  4. Influence others.

The strange thing is that this approach will never work.

Let’s break these down point by point.

#1 – The environment around you is only partially controlled by you. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. You can choose your job but you can’t choose your manager. So outside of choosing the people and place you put yourself in, there’s not really much you can do. So #1 up there is pretty impractical.

#2 – Haters gonna hate. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO. There’s a board member who is watching. And even if you’re the board member, your partners, other board members, and the entire rest of the internet are all watching. There’s no escape. This approach is futile.

#3 – Volleying off of #2, it’s more practical to just act in accordance with your true thoughts and feelings from the start. If you don’t, you’ll end up resenting yourself. And that is a great way to shut yourself down completely. If you do this, sure, there are people who won’t like you. But if you are able to disagree professionally and with dignity, you’ll earn respect, which is probably far more valuable than being liked.

#4 – Just because you have the power to tell people what to do doesn’t mean they will like or respect you when they do it. If you’re truly interested in leadership, not just authority, you’ll want your team to follow you into the dark and feel comfortable going there. If you’re serious about leadership, you’ll want your team to go to war for you. That’s a lot harder if they don’t like or respect you.

So what do you actually want?

Authority or leadership?

Which is more sustainable or applicable to your long-term goals?

2 Minute Action:

Ask yourself what would happen if you just started?

What would happen if you just spoke your mind about the new branding project to your supervisor?

What would happen if you were honest with your friend about her new boyfriend?

What would happen if you were open and honest with people in a constructive, professional way?

They just might feel like you’re trying to help.

They just might trust you a little bit more.

They just might see you in a different light.

It just might open the door to some new opportunities.

It can take 2 minutes of your day to do something a little bit out of your comfort zone.

Today’s the day.

Make it happen.

Read This If You Don’t Think You Have An Enemy

It could be a person.

It could be a substance.

It could be a disease.

It could be a thought.

It could be someone else’s thought.

It could be anything.

Whomever or whatever your enemy is . . .

“Your enemy thanks you for not giving 100%, today.”

– unknown

I stole this little quote from military culture.

Powerful, isn’t it?

Now that you feel that way . . . you’re accountable.

2 Minute Action:

Maybe it’s a gratitude letter to an old boss.

Maybe it’s a monthly payment to UNICEF.

Maybe it’s telling someone the constructive truth.

You pick.

We’re all counting on you to make something important and meaningful happen today and it could be something that takes 2 minutes or less to start or finish.