‘MG Blog’

Making the Most of a Bad Situation

Life will always have contrast to it. Day, night. Joy, grief. Beginner, expert. Hot, cold.
Some days we feel like we’re “in the groove” – everything is falling into place and going well. And some days — well — just the opposite.
When someone comes to you and says, “this isn’t working, things are bad,” what do you do?
From Don’t say ‘it’s not that bad’ to someone who thinks it’s bad:
Say, “you know, you’re right.” And then ask,

  • What’s bad about it? Or, what makes you say that?
  • What decisions/behaviors are making it bad?
  • If it was good, what would it look like?
    Treat people who think things are bad like intelligent competent team members (because hopefully they are!)

  • Don’t contradict their assessments.
  • Ask for suggestions.
  • Expect them to make things better (share responsibility if it’s warranted).
  • Use “you” and “we” in the steps forward.
  • Avocado & Strawberry Salsa

    Serves 8

    1lg fresh avocado, diced

    1c strawberries, diced

    1lg navel oranges. diced

    1/2c grape halves

    1/4c red onion, finely diced

    ½t+ jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely diced

    1½T fresh lime juice

    1½T olive oil

    3T fresh cilantro, chopped

    taste s&p


    1. Combine all ingredients, stir in avocado last, chill

    Great accompaniment to fish, chicken & pork dishes!

    The Platinum Rule

    “Treat others as you would have them treat you.” That’s a modern adaptation of the Golden Rule and one that we’ve probably heard a number of times throughout our life. It’s an ok model. Certainly better than treating others worse than you would have them treat you. But, this article suggests the Golden Rule doesn’t work as well as we may think.
    Why is that ineffective? Because it’s based on just this teeny, tiny assumption that the whole universe wants to be treated the way I want to be treated. That’s not the case. We’ve got to learn how to treat others as they want to be treated, which is the Platinum Rule.
    We all see the world through our own filters. These filters are unique to us and while we know they must exist, most of us are unaware of them as we move through our day to day interactions.
    “Filter – shift” is a concept where we learn to recognize our individual filters and shift our behaviors or responses to them (in other words, our bias) so we can be more effective and have better relationships with one another.

    Roasted Tomato & Pesto Soup

    Serves 8

    2lbs ripe plum tomatoes, cut ½

    2 cloves garlic, whole

    1 carrot, large pieces

    1 med onion, thick slices

    1-2T brown sugar

    2T olive oil

    to taste s&p

    2c veggie stock

    4T basil pesto

    touch of half & half, optional

    fresh basil, chopped


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F

    2. Toss tomatoes, garlic & onions with oil, sugar, s&p

    3. Spread in 1 layer on baking sheet, roast 30 mins

    4. Transfer to large pot, add veggie broth, bring to boil

    5. Reduce heat, simmer 20 mins, reducing liquid by ⅓

    6. Stir in pesto

    7. Using immersion blender, purée until smooth

    8. Can add “touch of” half & half for more creaminess

    9. Garnish with freshly chopped basil

    What’s headed for your trash?

    You can be less wasteful. Guaranteed. Wasteful of what, you might ask. Lots of things. But, let’s start with food.

    You’ve heard this before: 40% of edible food ends up in the trash. Globally, about 1.3 billion…TONS. So much…it’s hard to even imagine, but let’s try. An average elephant weighs 4 tons. That’s 325 million elephants worth of good food in the trash. Still hard to imagine. The average skyscraper weighs 222 tons. That’s 5,842 skyscrapers. Did that help, or are you still mind-boggled? It’s tempting when we see or hear something that is unsettling to just walk away from it…to try to put it out of our mind because we feel bad about it.

    Salt & Straw is a small ice cream shop in Portland, Oregon, and they are whipping up some new flavors using food bound for the trashcan. Get inspired to be less wasteful, to find a way to use ALL of your edible food and to have nearly nothing end up in the trash.

    Quinoa Cakes

    Serves 6

    2T olive oil

    1 onion, finely chopped

    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    2½c cooked, chilled quinoa

    14oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

    3lg eggs, beaten

    ½t fine sea salt

    1/3c fresh chives, chopped

    1/4c grated parmesan

    1/4c goat cheese

    2c gluten free bread crumbs

    1T olive oil or clarified butter


    1. Combine quinoa, eggs, black beans & salt in bowl

    2. Lightly sautée onion & garlic in oil, DO NOT brown

    3. Add onions to quinoa, stir in other ingredients (except oil/butter)

    4. Form into 12, 2″ patties. Best chilled before cooking

    5. Heat oil/butter in skillet, med high, sautée 3 mins per side

    Serve with red onion marmalade, tomato chutney, and/or horseradish cream


    Guess what leadership “interaction skill” has the most impact on a team member’s job performance…clarifies details?  Encourages involvement? Supports? Develops others’ ideas? No, no, no. And no.
    Listens and responds with empathy.

    Yep. That’s it. And it’s a bona fide superpower.
    [It] is not just about being able to see things from another perspective. It’s the cornerstone of teamwork, good innovative design, and smart leadership. It’s about helping others feel heard and understood.
    Even Albert Einstein agrees, “empathy is patiently seeing the world through the other person’s eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime.”

    Veggie Moroccan Stew

    Serves 8

    1T olive oil

    3/4c ea diced carrots & yukon potatoes

    1½c ea diced eggplant & butternut squash

    ½c ea diced mushrooms & leek

    1/4dried cranberries, raisins or prunes

    14oz can chickpeas, rinsed

    14oz can diced tomatoes

    1C veggie broth

    2t ea cumin, coriander, paprika

    1 cinnamon stick

    pinch crushed red pepper, s&p


    1/4C fresh parsley

    1/4C sliced almonds


    1. Sautée veggies in oil, over med heat, 8-10 mins

    2. Add other ingredients (except garnishes), bring to boil

    3. Reduce to simmer, cook 20-30 mins

    4. Remove cinnamon stick

    5. Serve over basmati rice or couscous

    6. Top with fresh parsley & almonds

    Note: cut veggies small dice, ½”

    Stop Focusing on the Actual Goal

    For a company that is wild about wildly important goals…say what?!?
    You need a goal (or two, but not more than 3!) and it needs to be measurable. The process of identifying and agreeing upon a goal (what can be even better, cleaner, tastier, safer) brings focus…to everyone. And, by the way…”focus” is the single word to which both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates attribute their success — not determination, not smarts, not courage, not creativity — but focus.
    BUT, to achieve your goal? Spend your time focusing on your “systems”.
    “If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day…When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time. None of this is to say that goals are useless…goals are good for planning your progress, while systems are good for actually making progress.”
    So, you have a goal…pulse-check…what are your systems for achieving it and maintaining the desired result? Focus, focus and refocus on that.

    Bacon Bourbon Jam

    12oz bacon, diced

    ½c onion, diced

    pinch salt

    3T brown sugar

    2T bourbon (Maker’s Mark best)

    2½c chicken stock

    1T butter


    1. In medium stock pot, cook bacon until it begins to crisp, 5-7 mins

    2. Add onion & salt, cook 5 mins

    3. Add bourbon & brown sugar, stir

    4. Crank heat high, add 1 c stock, stir until liquid is almost gone, 7 mins

    5. Add 1 more c stock, repeat

    6. When “jammy” consistency, add last ½ c stock

    7. Blend mixture in blender to smooth

    8. Return to pan, cook on low 7 mins

    9. Remove from heat & stir in butter

    Excellent on steaks or other grilled or roasted meats

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