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Lessons from a pizza party

I spent the evening at a friends house and we had pizza. While the event was "just" dinner, our host turned it into a make your own pizza party.

We were provided:

a pizza pan


tomato sauce

hot salami

mild salami

sliced jalapenos

chopped sausage

rep pepper

yellow pepper

roasted garlic

cooked onions

fresh sliced mushrooms

buffalo mozzarella

So we all had the same basic ingredients (purists, there was no pineapple) then each of us made our own pizza according to our own likes

They were delicious. And as I reflected on the evening a few life lessons occurred - what can you add to this list?

You need to plan events in advance. The dough takes a minimum of 90 minutes to rise once made. What ever you need to do as a leader, have you built in enough preparation time? Do you have all the elements sorted into a critical path that will allow your project to succeed? The 90 minutes for the dough to rise allowed the host to prepare and cook all the other ingredients.

You can improvise when the "right" equipment is not at hand. We didn't have a pizza oven we cooked pizza - two at a time - on pizza stones in a gas fired grill.

And as for the pizza themselves, the best pizza was, well there wasn't a "best" there were just different kinds. All were good, some harder to eat than others, the ones with fewer ingredients were satisfying to hold and taste, the ones with some of everything fell apart and needed (shock) a knife and fork to eat with! Less is more (more or less) and different ingredients (read skills in a leadership context) led to different - not better or worse - outcomes, sometimes requiring a different approach.

Finally the whole evening was a blast as it allowed us to be creative, experiment and to get insights into the likes and dislikes of each other.

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