We all have our favorite foods. We fondly recall where we were when we last enjoyed it, and who we were with. The aroma still lives in our memory, the taste is tangible and lingering. For me, there is always Lou slide-pull-1Malnati’s pizza. A traditional Chicago deep dish pizza featuring a rich, buttery crust with an overabundance of tomato sauce and cheese which, for some reason, always tastes better in the restaurant than at home.

A visit to the (sadly, now closed) famous Hot Doug’s restaurant when Doug recommended I try the Italian Sausage, with grilled onions, giardiniera and spicy brown mustard. Upon my third bite, a HotDougstear came to my eye upon the realization that this was indeed one of the finest meals I would ever enjoy.

A long anticipated trip to (the also now closed) Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago for my wife Lynn’s 40th birthday. Course after course of amazing food was ceremoniously placed before us to enjoy. The evening ended with a plate full of delicate, sumptuous desserts, the most special of which was a simple piece of chocolate filled with an explosion of passion fruit. A truly amazing dining experience we will never forget.

But, perhaps my very favorite meal ever is a simple stew, homemade by Lynn. It is from a recipe she found called Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Stew. As with most excellent cooks, Lynn adds her own unique spin on the printed recipe, resulting in a delicious, rich tomato based stew featuring fresh vegetables and thick pasta. A perfect meal for anyone on a cold winter’s day.

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I was enjoying some leftover stew (sometimes, the leftovers are even better!) for lunch one day, and decided to post a picture of this, my very favorite meal, on Facebook. I got a few “likes,” as anticipated, but then things took an unexpected turn. People began to ask for 15698241_10154906533564380_1939528864325610808_nthe recipe. Lynn happily shared the recipe, and then…

My friend Aileen shared a picture of the version of the stew she made. She was concerned she added too much pasta and oil, but it looks really good to me.

Karen was hosting a big family reunion at the time, and decided to give the stew a try. She “added a splash of vino” 15622598_10211250385315040_4716063468688267554_nand used ground turkey instead of the soy crumbles Lynn uses. She said everyone loved it, and she is looking forward to enjoying the three large containers she has in the freezer. Karen also changed the name of the dish to Glickman Tuscan Stew. I like that. As Moriah reports, she gave the stew a try too, and “it came out delicious!” From the looks of things, I would have to agree.15665733_10154298281708163_4420211545911299375_n

This was never the plan. I just wanted to share a photo of a delicious lunch my wife made for me. But, much to my surprise and delight, community was created, information was shared and positive results were enjoyed. In a sense, we were Working Out Loud.

As John Stepper, author of Working Out Loud writes, “…you invest in relationships. You lead with generosity. You make your work visible and frame it as a contribution. Combined, these elements form a powerful approach to work and life.”

Whether it is at home or at work, we are too often hesitant to share. We find it difficult to “work out loud.” We want to maintain ownership or credit for our work, and we don’t want anything to be changed. We worked hard to get to where we are at, and we protect our work product.

But, my Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Stew will always be my Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Stew. It is made in our house for our family. No one take that away from me, and Lynn and I will enjoy this amazing meal together for many years to come. As will Karen’s family, as will Aileen’s family, and  as will Moriah’s family. They will create memories and traditions of their own, and whenever they make the stew, maybe they will remember where it came from.

Our work product has not been devalued because we shared it with someone else. If anything, more value was created. A network now exists around a shared interest, people made our product their own without taking anything away from us, and everyone now loves Glickman Family Stew. 

So, work out loud. Realize the gifts that it can bring you and others, and the value it can create. Oh, and try the stew. It’s delicious.

3 Comments

  1. Thank God you shared this Larry, because Karen was reminded today of Glickman Tuscan Stew and we will have it for dinner tonight.
    In practicing medicine for a long time I noticed many individuals who wanted to keep their work, knowledge and opinions proprietary, rather than sharing it freely with others. I never learned a lot from those people. I learned from those who shared freely and were unafraid of being wrong occasionally or receiving blow-back.
    My world was enriched by those people. My world was altered by Glickman Tuscan Stew, and that is a good thing.

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    1. This may be the nicest compliment we get all day! Thank you so much Rob, and I could not agree more. We are all so much better off when we find ways to be transparent and generous. So much to learn, so much to be gained.

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  2. Yet another meaningful post, Larry – and not just because you generously mentioned me – but because clever you connected a recipe to your abiding belief in the importance of transparency, sharing and collegiality. And you never miss an opportunity to do so to the benefit of those who have worked with you. These are powerful lessons you taught that allowed me to build on my belief that in the work place and in life “it’s all about relationships”. Although true, I expanded that motto to include that the willingness to honestly reflect and generously share are the tools for even more effective and productive relationships. And by the way, I do think of you when my family gathers to enjoy Glickman Tuscan Stew (as Rob and I did tonight) and remember your teachings both in your words and by example.

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