Chapter 1. Action with Traction

Banging Pots

The time: Almost 25 years ago. It was my second day at a new summer job, working in the kitchen of a local diner. The dish tank was hot and humid. Behind me sat a row of plastic trays filled with greasy dishes. In front, a busboy was sliding another tray onto the table, slopping dirty dishwater onto my new tennis shoes and the soggy rubber mats below. After three-and-a-half hours of scrubbing plates and glasses, my hands were sore, my shirt soaked with dishwater, and my hair matted to my forehead. I leaned against the stainless steel table for a minute to catch my breath.

With a bang of the swinging door, Rusty, our cowboy cook, came flying around the corner, a cast iron burner in each hand. “What’s up, ...

Get Ignited: Managers! Light Up Your Company and Career for More Power, More Purpose, and More Success now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.