Are You Still Cutting the Ham?


A few years ago, I remember hearing the story about the HAM…if you haven’t heard it yet, let me share.

There was a family cooking a holiday dinner.  The mom’s specialty was her delicious ham.  As the family watched, she proceeded to cut off the end of the ham. 

Wanting to know her secret, the husband asked: “why do you cut the end off of the ham?... is the sweeter meat more toward the center?” 

The wife replied… “well, no”. 

“Well, is the meat tougher at the end?”

The wife replied… “well…no”.

All out of ideas, the husband asks, “then why do we cut the end off of the ham?”

She just replied, “well that’s the way I was taught to do it by my Mom”. 

The husband replied…” well, all righty… then do we know Mom’s reason?”

They looked at each other….and the wife said… “that’s a good question”! 

Well, now, everyone was curious….so they decided to call Grandma and put hear on speakerphone.  She was so excited to hear from everyone, but was surprised when they asked about the ham recipe…. she was all set to respond about the cloves, the cooking time, the honey and brown sugar.  When they asked her about cutting off the ends…she just laughed…and got quiet…because she had a fond memory.

She shared: “when your father and I first got married, we didn’t have much so we made good use of everything that was given to us…including our cook ware.  Your father would always bring home a nice ham for the holidays, but my baking pan was always too small for it, so I had to cut the end of the ham off so it would fit!” 

Of course the family was dumbfounded when they heard this.  They’ve been carrying on a tradition that was not even recipe-driven, but out of sheer necessity. 

So this month, I want you to think about, where are you ‘cutting the ham’…doing things just because you’ve always done them?  Think about your existing practices (personal and professional) …what should you STOP doing, START doing and KEEP doing? 

Need help figuring this out?  Check out May’s Leadership Resource!

Much grace, Bernadette

Serving Leaders who make a difference by BEing the difference!

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