One evening not too long ago my wife was once again cooking a pot roast. My girls have seen the ritual my wife goes through to prepare the roast many times before but on this occasion, curiosity loomed heavy in the room.
“Why do you cut the pot roast in half before cooking it?” they inquired.
“Well,” said my wife, “that’s the way MeMaw has always done it.”
Their questions ended there but a looming sense of dissatisfaction with the reply hung in the air like the scents of cooking meat and mingling spices from the cooking vessel.
At Thanksgiving, the girls finally had their chance to seek further explanation for the pot roast mystery.
“MeeMaw, why do you cut the pot roast in half before you cook it?”
“Well, Grammie always did it that way.”
This answer did not quell my daughters’ desire to know the reason behind the halved pot roast, and the mounting frustration was almost palatable.
So, they turned to Grammie in hopes of finding a satisfactory conclusion to the pot roast query.
“Well,” Grammie said, “I cut it in half because I didn’t have a pot large enough to put the roast in!”
In the sales world— and life in general— there’s a fine line between tradition and doing something for the sake of doing it. Without a sound reason behind your methods, you’re simply regurgitating the same old same old while the next guy has a mop and a newer, more effective way to do things. Being stuck in your ways tends to give an air of rigidness, as if you are unwilling to change or to bend a little to accommodate others.
Don’t be stuck in your career. Buy a bigger pot, go get the best cut of meat you can, and fire up the stove top for success.
And please pass the pepper.