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Plastic Chicken Pot Pie, Anyone?

By Joey Havens

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Chicken Pot Pie

CeCe makes a great chicken pot pie. I know it’s hard to believe as the kitchen is not her passion. But don’t let this fool you, I’m first in line to get my fork into her chicken pot pies. When she decides to cook and focus on it, she can deliver.

Tonight, she is wrapping seven pot pies in aluminum foil and placing them into the refrigerator. CeCe has been in the kitchen all day cooking for our Christmas celebration with kids this weekend as we host everyone at our house early so no one is traveling on Christmas Day. This is a big labor of love from CeCe as, again, cooking is not on her “get to” list.

CeCe is giving me the spoon-by-spoon recap of today’s kitchen adventure. As usual, it has had some turns, twists and spills.

“They look great, CeCe! I know you have worked really hard on this.”

She is wrapping up the final chicken pot pie which is the gluten-free one and it looks a little odd to me. Pulling the corner of some plastic out just a little to see what purpose it might have, I step back to stay out of the chef’s way. Perplexed, I watch her pick up the final pie for topping and wrapping. CeCe notices the plastic, too, and pulls even harder on it.

Chicken Pot Pie

We both start laughing as you can see in my photo, she has forgotten to remove the plastic from the pie crust, filled the pie up and started putting the crust on top. Thank goodness, we caught it before we put it in the oven Friday and served our first Plastic Chicken Pot Pie. I’m sure it would have been tasty.

But what can we learn here? First, CeCe had a big goal in front of her — seven pot pies. Her first six were executed to perfection and I expect they will be delightful as usual. It was the seventh one where her focus wavered. She started hurrying and her eyes were on the finish line rather than the last few steps.

I find myself in the same mixing bowl when I have a big goal over a long period of time. At some point, I begin to hurry, lose my focus and make mistakes. Rather than celebrate my progress and renew my energy, I let my fatigue drain my focus. It’s easy to do. Focus is one of the keys to outstanding performance and it saves us SO MUCH time as well as elevates our performance when we manage it well. And of course, we always want to remember to Be Quick But Don’t Hurry!

CeCe, where is my mixing bowl?

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at