Thursday, June 18, 2009


Chris and I have made a new friend recently. Really interesting guy. His Grandfather lived in Switzerland and as a boy, every summer he would go to Switzerland for the summer. When he was old enough he began working at a local restaurant. All he knew about the place was that it was really busy and they needed a dishwasher. As he got older, the owner/Chef decided he wanted to train him how to cook. Turns out that this was a Michelin 3 star rated restaurant, and my friends career as an Executive Chef began. He's worked at some of the best restaurants in the world. He made a comment about learning to make the recipes of a restaurant on Orcas Island. He followed the recipe, but his came out different. He put it down to a little thing - seasoning. How much or how little salt was used. It's not something that he was taught, but rather a part of the DNA he gained by working with the best in the world.

So tonight as I was doing the dishes, it occurred to me that this principle - carrying the DNA of who you learned from is an important one. Who you study under, who you learn from, even who you allow to influence you will show up, in the smallest ways. It reminded me of a belief I have acted on in my life. If I have the opportunity to learn from someone who I consider to be "mediocre", I'll usually wait. If I choose to learn from a "mediocre" person, I will become "mediocre" myself. It's not worth my time and effort to learn bad habits that I will have to put more effort into unlearning, assuming I can unlearn them, than it would take me to wait and learn from the best available person I can. What about you? Are you learning from the best possible people in your life? What habits of excellence are you learning and building upon?

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