A Recipe for Success

Posted 09.17.2008

Peop0415child And now for something completely different.  A recent reference in the Wall Street Journal to TV cooking pioneer, Julia Child, caused me to reflect on the ingredients that make some people amazingly impactful and successful.  So, while the presidential campaign gets super hot and we’re waiting for the next big tremor in the financial markets, I thought it might be a nice break to learn a few lessons from Julia.

Earlier this morning, I re-read the life story of Julia Child that The New York Times ran when she passed away a little over four years ago.  Here are some of the ingredients in her recipe for success:

  • Just Do It:  She didn’t learn how to cook until she was in her 30’s and then wrote her landmark book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and started her pioneering show on WGBH in Boston by the time she was 50.
  • Passion:  Her enthusiasm for her craft shined through.  As she put it, “I fell in love with the public, the public fell in love with me, and I tried to keep it that way.”
  • Humor:  She laughed at her herself and the mistakes that inevitably come when you’re trying new things.

  • Experience:  Her core belief was that cooking was an art to be studied, not picked up on the fly.
  • Civility:  This was the point that prompted me to write this post in the first place.  As the following must-read letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal makes clear, Julia Child was a person of great civility.

You know, folks, it seems like in these Blackberry-fueled, 24/7 news cycle world we live in that exchanges like the WSJ letter described above are fast disappearing.  What would happen if we each slowed down the pace just enough to show each other the kind of civility that the reader described in the letter to the Journal?