Balance Your Inner Chef

Do you watch Chopped? It’s the Food Network show where 4, then 3, then finally two chefs battle their way through appetizer, entree, and finally dessert to win $10K (and bragging rights). I love the show, but have often noticed that chefs at the top of their game sometimes fall when it comes to dessert – there’s a definitive line between chef and pastry chef.

I like to dabble in cooking, and while I don’t think I have the “chops” (pardon the pun) to compete with the talented chefs on Chopped, I know enough to see the differences between baking and cooking.

Baking is an exact science – you follow the recipe, you achieve the desired result:

But with cooking, you can go a little wild. Add a new ingredient, come up with new flavors, embrace your inner culinary artist and express something new and bold:

I guess I’m feeling a bit reflective, as this month I began a transition from part-time to full-time and increased my involvement in the day-to-day business of circulation at Bank Director – a role which now requires me to both attend to the mundane details of payment processing, while also looking strategically at our marketing efforts and reach to our readers. If you’re one of our readers and call (877-764-4681) or email ( us about the magazine, I’m your gal (don’t read Bank Director? Contact me – I’ll be glad to email you a free copy. I might even email you a copy of the curry recipe – but not the recipe for the cupcakes. Family secret.).

So these thoughts on baking and cooking do have a point – I think they have a lot to say about who I am (and who you are) in business and beyond. Are you a baker, following a recipe to an exact science and getting things done just as you expect? Or a cook, trying new “ingredients” within your business, a new herb, a new flavor? Frankly, in business, we need to embrace a bit of both. Bankers, as we have seen, need to bake – there’s thousands of pages of regulation to worry about, and more every day.

But you’ve got to embrace your inner cook. In order for your business to succeed, you’ve got to look ahead and try new things. As we grow ever more digital, that typically involves embracing a new technology – look into developing that new app and see how you can better reach and serve your customer base online. Or try that new marketing concept to reach new audiences and expand your brand.

To succeed, you need to be a bit of a cook, and a bit of a baker too. Are you balancing your inner chef?


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