Monday, September 25, 2017

Flat Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

I won't be the first person who's joined a gym, maybe even several times, completed a whopping 20 minutes on the treadmill, then  stretched, showered, hopped into my car and driven through McDonald's - ordering the Big Mac Meal (go large on that) - smug in my delusion that I've done my part to keep myself fit 'n healthy for another day.

I also won't be the first person who's joined a spa gym, the type where the cost of the outfit you must wear to fit in with everyone is only surpassed by the enormous amount spent in monthly membership dues and the brand new treadmill you're running on being so pristine, high tech, and clean, you don't dare sweat on it, for fear of being admonished by the well-coiffured staff and possibly even having your smoothie bar privileges revoked. So, you just skip all of that messiness, and it's off to the Jacuzzi.

I took a swim aerobics class a few weeks ago, it just looked fun. And the people in it were all smiling, which is a nice thing. I engaged one in some friendly banter before the class began, you know the kind, the kind where you're next to a stranger for a few minutes and so the both of you just start talking.

Well, I was excited to be there for my first time and she was excited to be there every week for about the third year, I recall, telling me, "I do lots of exercise here in the pool
every week, and that way I can eat whatever I want." At first, it sounded logical, and I also thought it was good that she had a plan. But she was also the heaviest person in the class, and something just seemed to be missing there.

I found this article recently and although there's nothing really new in it, it drives home the point like no other article on the food/exercise/health connection I've ever seen. I couldn't stop thinking about the best line in that article, "Flat abs are made in the kitchen," as it just seemed to ring so true not only with the topic, yet also symbolically with how we approach other areas of our lives: we often fail in our endeavors because we don't make the effort to do the hard - and often rather dry and unpleasant - work required to lay a foundation upon which all other efforts can be built - and instead are focusing on just the fun stuff, focusing on the consumption.

I see this in our domestic staff industry, also. There's an enormous amount of activity swirling around consumption and the spending of money - either one's own,  or one's employer's. So much, in fact, it seems that if you were to do only that, all would be well. With check signing authority, one could easily spend millions of their employer's dollars every year on all the new vendors hovering just outside the gates, waiting for their chance to reach inside the cookie jar. And maybe some of that needs to be done. But something's missing here.

Few people like to talk about writing Mission, Vision, and Values statements. Frankly, it sounds about as exciting as eating a cup of broccoli, and honestly, sitting down with a sharpened #2 pencil and a blank sheet of paper is about as far away from an afternoon spent sashaying down Madison Avenue with the household AMEX card as one could imagine. 

Because not only is laying a foundation for your service team's success absolutely free of cost to your employer, it actually creates success and solves real problems. Problems that, like broccoli, are often difficult to look at, but once they are, they can be honestly swallowed. Big, heavy, foundation problems, the kind that no amount of zeros on a check can ever have a chance for slimming down. 

Flat abs are made in the kitchen, and if you also have a table in there to sit and write at, so can your service team's recipe.

I bet he also knows how to write mission, vision, and values statements.

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