• “the secret’s in the sauce, but i’ll never tell”

  • We’ve all heard the saying, “the secret’s in the sauce, but I’ll never tell”.

    We live in a culture where the default is to look for success recipes that take away the inherent uncertainty, unpredictability, messiness of life and replace it with certainty, security and guarantees.  The number of explanations for anything that shows up is limited only by the number of worldviews, ideologies, perception filters that are available and are used to make sense of the situation at hand.  We live in a culture where our search for these recipes is often only on the outside and often the recipes don’t work out because we only looked at the surface and did not dig deeper to get the true “secret sauce”.

    Does my secret sauce come down to a bunch of skills, behaviors, frameworks and tools?  IfI have a “secret sauce” then it lies in my inner dimension – my being, my stance, the context from which I operate, how I see myself.  What if I told you that my “secret sauce” is caring.  I care deeply about my clients – the people who have placed their trust in me.  I care deeply about the project we have taken on, the outcome which we wish to manifest in this world.  I care deeply about the impact this will have on the lives of prospects and customers who touch this business.  I care deeply about how it will impact and improve the lives of the people who work within this business.  And I care deeply about excellence – doing great work impeccably.

    What if I told you that my “secret sauce” is the conscious choice to operate from a context of service and and of contribution – of making a difference to the quality of our lives and the workability of the world that we share?  Yes, I am straight with people and that includes sharing what they do not necessarily want to hear.  I help clients see, explore and come to grips with the options that are available to them and once this is done I make it clear that the responsibility for choosing the path lies with them as it is “their baby” and I am the “midwife” — they have to live with the consequences of their choices whereas I can walk away.

    Am I sharing this with you because I am on an ego trip today?  Possibly and I hope not.  I am sharing this with you to point out the following:

    Be skeptical of any and all “secret sauces” that are put forward.  Why?  For any phenomenon a multiplicity of stories can be constructed to explain and give meaning to that phenomenon.  The number of stories is limited only by the imagination and the number of voices that get to speak and be heard.  Perhaps the challenge is to come up with, create, construct “secret sauce” rather than finding existing ones.  Where would Apple be if it looked for “secret sauce” rather than invented it?  Where would Starbucks, Facebook or Google be?