improvise adapt overcomeThe Food Network is fascinating. Particularly the Challenge shows. This is where extremely talented bakers have a limited amount of time to create magnificent sugar sculptures that soar six feet into the air, or bake elaborate, whimsical cakes that boggle the mind.
Of course, lurking in shadows of each competition kitchen are the things that can go wrong. A delicate piece falls off jeopardizing meeting the height requirement, a base cake cracks compromising the stability of the whole confection, or time simply runs out.
But time on the sofa, drooling over these confections, is not entirely wasted. During a Cupcake Challenge a valuable lesson was learned from one of the bakers. Faced with a number of seemingly overwhelming challenges, she borrowed the phrase from the Marines and said that in this business “you just have to improvise, adapt and overcome.”
In our lives and/or businesses, too,  it’s a good motto.
  • Improvise — How can you do something a bit differently than you had planned in order to still get an outcome that works out OK? Don’t have what you think you need? Ditch your expectation, get creative, and you may come up with something even better.
  • Adapt — You know that adage about the difference between a shark and a dinosaur? The shark learned to adapt to its environment. You can stay steadfast if you want, but you’ll likely get left behind — or become extinct. Yikes.
  • Overcome — The most interesting people are those that can tell stories about overcoming adversity, or beating the odds. When you are challenged, think about how you might recount the experience later. Behave in way that will make you proud of yourself — and perhaps in a way that makes for a good war story. (Which is entirely different than a fish story.)