Are You the Bacon or the Eggs?

IMG_0092.JPGHeading home from a trip that included facilitating a one-day Smart and Healthy Leadership Team follow up offsite with an Executive team in Seattle, and then joining a weekend at The Haven Faculty retreat. Now home, I am myself reflecting on my experience.

The biggest piece of learning for me came from a dinner chat about the difference between committing and contributing. Gary Dillon, another Haven Faculty member, and big Seattle Seahawks fan, and I were talking about some wisdom we had learned from football. We both agreed football wasn’t necessarily a major contributor to our spiritual purpose or living a meaningful life. However, we were each quite committed to our Seahawks and watching and cheering them on!!!

Gary shared nuggets of wisdom he had taken from a coach’s halftime speech to his players. The coach had asked his team, “Are you a pig or a hen? A hen is a contributor and a pig is committed. I want you to be committed!”

In case, that analogy isn’t obvious, as food pigs and hens end up as either the bacon or the eggs. But for a pig to provide bacon, he has to be all in. For a hen to provide eggs, that’s simply a partial offering.

I am not meaning to encourage that you, or I, must sacrifice ourselves and get sizzled. However, I get it. There are situations in which I contribute but really much like a hen, I drop an egg, or may be two, and off I go back to my world. And there are places that I am much like the pig. I am all in. I walk away having given ‘all of me.’

I’d say in working with a leadership team, like I was on Thursday, I am a contributor. At times, I think I may act too committed, more pig like, and need to be reminded, this is not my business. I am contributing to the team’s success. I do want the team members though to be committed. But if I am too committed, doing their work, I may actually be getting in the way.

Now, as a Haven Faculty member, I have chosen to commit. For me, I do that through being on The Education Steering Group and focusing on bringing people to core programs, or engaging in the Haven programming in a way that extends The Haven’s reach and voice.

As I sat in a circle with our Faculty, I believe I was in a room of people who represented both, those contributing and those more committed. I realize now that I have an underlining expectation that everyone be equally committed. That expectation creates a pushiness that may actually get in the way. Because The Haven needs both contributors and people who are committed.

I am also very aware the current way that The Haven operates does not make it easy to commit. It works for some, but for others their commitment may first need to be to their own livelihood, and one or two programs a year would not provide that.

I know even in my situation, I ask myself, do I have the right level of commitment to Thrive, our business? Am I too committed to The Haven? These are questions that I wrestle with, and CrisMarie and I power struggle about.

I found myself appreciating the clarity of some faculty who said, “I am a contributor and committed to something else, like my art, or medicine.” I also appreciated those who were clear about the area in which they were committed. Someone shared they were committed to assisting and leading smaller, non-core programs. Another is committed to creating three faculty engagements. This type of clarity helps me get clearer myself.

I know I often struggle when I don’t think people are committed – be it at Haven, on a team, or in their relationship. Yet, life isn’t always about being committed. There are times when it is best to contribute. Frankly, there’s no way to be the bacon everywhere!! Nor, is it appropriate.

These were the things I walked away wrestling with, AND what I love about being part of this faculty. I do come away from our gathering, thinking and often quite excited about something.

This time it is this question of where am I contributing, and where am I committed. Not simply as a faculty member but in my life.

As someone who lives in Whitefish, MT, how am I contributing to my community, and where am I committed?

The same question can be asked of my business, my relationships, my health, or my learning. These are rich questions and are taken from a football coach’s pep talk.

May be there is more to football than simply rooting for the Seahawks!!