A Knife and a Coach -what’s the connection?
A few days ago I was brave. I volunteered to cut up about two kilograms of butternut for my wife, so that she could make a nice big batch of butternut soup, which we both love.
While butternut soup made by a gourmet chef tastes delicious, peeling and cutting up the huge butternut squashes is an entirely different kettle of fish! It requires strength, astuteness and dexterity. The novice, if he is not careful, could easily cut into a finger, and if he manages to avoid that, his stout attempt could still leave a big mess in the kitchen, which will not be appreciated by the gourmet chef when it comes to making the soup.
So, what is so difficult about cutting up butternut squashes? For a start- which knife do you use? In our kitchen drawer there are at least 6 different kinds of knives. To do the job properly, you should carefully consider the operation.
Do you first peel the squash and then cut it up, or do you cut up the squash into slices, then subdivide the slices and peel them and then cut up the part slices into smaller pieces. Without doing a full-scale mechanical task analysis, my engineering brain tells me that the latter is a more manageable option.
Now back to the knife. Having decided that it is better to cut the big squash into manageable size slices before peeling them, you need a knife that is sturdy enough that with appropriate force, holding the handle in one hand and pressing on its blunt side with the other, you can cut right through the thick butternut.
For peeling the hard skin you need a different knife. It must be sharp, able to cut thin slices, and your hand must be able to control it well without running the risk of cutting your finger.
So, to come to the point: Cutting up large butternuts, can be quite a daunting, even soul-destroying job, but with the right knives, proper planning, and the appropriate hand skills, it can be efficient, and even enjoyable.
And what is the connection between a knife and a coach? It is this: A coach knows which are the right tools for a particular task. He can help you with the planning, as well as the execution, so that instead of doing a clumsy, drawn out, messy job – if tackled with sound advice and guidance from the coach, the process can be efficient and the outcome just what is needed. Of course, it helps to have the right coach!