“No self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits.” – It takes time; to cook good grits; and to learn from a good book.

My Cousin VinnyFrom: My Cousin Vinny

Vinny Gambini: Oh, oh, oh, I’m sorry. You testified earlier that the boys went into the store, and you had just begun to make breakfast. You were just ready to eat, and you heard a gunshot. That’s right, I’m sorry. So, obviously, it takes you five minutes to make breakfast.
Mr. Tipton: That’s right.
Vinny Gambini: Right, so you knew that. Uh, do you remember what you had?
Mr. Tipton: Eggs and grits.
Vinny Gambini: Eggs and grits. I like grits, too. How do you cook your grits? Do you like them regular, creamy or al dente?
Mr. Tipton: Just regular, I guess.
Vinny Gambini: Regular. Instant grits?
Mr. Tipton: No self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.
Vinny Gambini: So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you five minutes to cook your grits, when it takes the entire grit-eating world twenty minutes?
Mr. Tipton: [a bit panicky] I don’t know. I’m a fast cook, I guess.
Vinny Gambini: I’m sorry, I was all the way over here. I couldn’t hear you. Did you say you were a fast cook? That’s it?
[Mr. Tipton nods in embarrassment]
Vinny Gambini: Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth?
Mr. Tipton: I don’t know.
Vinny Gambini: Well, perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove. Were these magic grits? I mean, did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?


I have a…pet peeve.

We want things to be so quick and easy these days.

My wife makes homemade granola.  It takes her a while.
It is so good.  Much better than the store-bought kind.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a fan of quick and easy.  I love convenience.  And if a website or an app takes too long to load (longer, say, than 1/10th of a second), I grow impatient.

But, maybe, some things actually take a while.

Maybe good things take quite a while.

The Powers That Be - 771 pages

The Powers That Be – 771 pages

For just one example: I remember reading some books by David Halberstam a few decades ago.  They were thick; lots of pages.  Lots and lots of pages.  It took a while to get through his books.

And, every minute spent was worth it.

Recently, a participant in our First Friday Book Synopsis events told me that he got more out of my synopses than he did from reading the book for himself.

Now, I encourage people to read books on their own; slowly, carefully, thoroughly.  But, in my synopses, I do my best to take people on as deep a dive as I can in the time allotted.  (And, yes, that time has expanded over the years.  “15minute” business books has become more like 25-30 minutes).  And, when I present my synopses to companies or organizations or teams, it is more like an hour, even an hour+, on the content of one book.

I like presenting the longest versions of my synopses…

A book is not a tweet. Or a blog post.  When written well, by a careful writer who has done good research, and maybe developed a lifetime of expertise, a book provides quite a deep dive into the subject matter.

And that takes more than a page or three.

And I try to provide as much of a deep dive as I can in my synopsis presentations.

Now, here’s the point of this post;  don’t let your desire for speed and convenience deprive you of depth and understanding.  Maybe you need slow, leisurely, more thorough learning experiences.  Like you can get from reading a book carefully and thoughtfully.

Like you can get, I think, when you attend our monthly events or bring me in to present a synopsis to your team.

There is much to learn.  Take your time; learn it well.  It will pay rich dividends.

Remember:  “No self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.”

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