Playing With Fire

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became strong.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

 

My vision for Scovan in 2019 is that we can continue to grow in three ways:

  1. That we can be open to be shaped in areas that we may have previously been stubborn or reluctant to change and that the opportunities in 2019 can transform us into something that is even better.
  2. That we can create an even stronger determination and level of grit that will strengthen us in areas of opportunities.
  3. But most importantly, that we can help be a positive influence in an industry that has such a strong and storied history that it is sometimes easy to get discouraged with the challenges that we face.

My hope is that we will be willing to work harder than we ever have, that we will be open to disruption for the greater good, that we can continue to find new and innovative ways to do more with less, and that we can do all of this while continuing to create strong and positive vibes amongst coworkers, clients, vendors, contractors and friends.

We may feel like the current status of the industry isn’t our fault but we are all responsible for how we respond and to contribute to making it better.  This is a journey that we are all on together so we might as well enjoy it because failure is not an option.

I have no doubt that 2019 has great things in store for all of those that continue to demonstrate the resolve to do what it takes, including choosing to face our struggles head-on in order to be successful.

I am proud of all of the hard work over the last couple of years by the incredible team at Scovan and am in awe when I reflect on all that we have accomplished.  We have done things over the last three years that we had previously never imagined.  The journey is hard but there is great satisfaction when you can look back and truly appreciate all that you have accomplished.

Here’s to a fantastic 2019 and to a new fire that will fuel our passion for years to come!

 

Written by Donovan Nielsen, P.Eng, Principal/President

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