How I like my eggs in China

My opinion on egg preparation was not shared by the chef, and what that taught me.

Years ago, my wife and I were in China to adopt and bring our son home. One of the funnier moments of that trip was when I was trying to order my eggs. We were staying at a nice hotel that had an amazing breakfast. A part of that breakfast featured the ability to go up to a cook and ask for eggs cooked the way you wanted them. So, I went up and asked for fried eggs, no runny yolk. The only thing is, the idea of breaking the egg yolk seemed foreign to this chef. So there he was, cooking the eggs sunny side up like always, not understanding that I didn’t want a runny yolk.

Realizing that his English and my English weren’t exactly meshing, I gave up on verbal communication and settled for hand motions. How do you make the hand motion for “break the yolk?” Maybe a stabbing motion or a flattening motion? But then he might think I wanted pancakes rather than eggs… At any rate, eventually, I made him understand that I didn’t want runny eggs, and with a look that was part bewilderment and part disdain, he broke the yoke and cooked the egg for me. It was an amusing incident that makes me smile today. He had his opinions on how eggs must be cooked, and now my opinion had gone against his.

It makes me wonder where I’m doing that in my life. What am I doing daily that I can’t conceive of being done another way, possibly a better way, or just a different way? I want to make sure my eyes are open to new possibilities, even with something as simple as how to cook an egg. Next time, I’ll try my eggs his way.

This post originated from my blog.

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Great leadership reading from this week.

  • Simplify Your Time Management With the 'Rule of 4' - If we are honest with ourselves (and believe in scientific studies), we only get about 4 good hours of concentrated work per day. Knowing this helps us to plan and better understand what we can and cannot accomplish.

  • Decide How You Want to Be Remembered and Start Acting Like it Today - I love this concept. We all want to be remembered well when we are gone, but sometimes we act counter to that. If I want to be remembered as a family man, I better spend time with my family and get my eyes off a screen. How do you want to be remembered, and what steps can you take today to make that a reality?

  • How To Give Your Employees a Sense of Tribe in a Remote-Based World - Culture can be built remotely. I’ve done it. In fact, one of the best company cultures I ever experienced was a team that rarely met in person. Remote work is here to stay, so let’s start talking about building a culture around it.

This week I’m thinking about:
What makes things catch on

I’ve been reading the book Contagious about what makes things go viral. It’s been fascinating to think about from a content creation perspective. If you need a good read, I recommend it.

Other great reading from the week

Podcasts to check out

That’s a wrap!

Did you find anything helpful here? Pay me back by sharing it with someone. Thanks for reading!