Strong Enough to Hold Its Butter


This week I read an interesting line about leadership:

“I’m grateful that I’ve had the chance to serve alongside leaders with vision and a certain sense of toughness, because leadership is the willingness to walk a lonely path.”

I’ll not write about this person or his speech. His constituents and competitors will do that. But this particular line feels a little off to me.

The speechmaker seems to be asserting that leadership and toughness – such things as moral courage and the ability to make difficult decisions (and to stand by those decisions) – tend to be isolating.

I haven’t observed that.

My dad was a professor of mathematics, and when Dad had trouble sleeping, he’d take a geometry book to the tub to read. It relaxed him. I never heard him raise his voice (unless he was singing in the choir or performing a solo at a wedding). He tithed to the church and, beyond that, he gave what he could to anyone who asked. He did not smoke, or drink, or swear, or gamble or cheat. He was cautious and smart, and he had many, many friends.

Dad was also a vet, a Golden Glove boxer, a big, strong All-American athlete in college (captain of his football team, in fact) and far and away the toughest person I have known. He was mentally adroit, morally centered and physically imposing. People did not push him where he did not want to go. He was tough enough to keep his family of seven safe and healthy, and he was humble enough to love us dearly. And, over his lifetime, it is fair to say that there were thousands of people who sought his counsel and who depended on him for a share of their success.

So today, I bring you a fantastic cookie – a cookie, like my dad, much finer and better balanced than most.


If you are a novice cookie maker, you might be interested in one of my cookie baking secrets. It’s this: for most cookies, I use a little more fat than the recipe calls for, and I split the fat evenly between butter and shortening. When I use all shortening, the cookies tend to be–and I use this term advisedly–they tend to be too tough. But when I use all butter, the cookies taste amazing, but they also tend to be too soft.

Today’s cookies, double chocolate-chip drizzled with milk chocolate, are tough enough to handle all the butter I can throw in (no shortening is necessary). These particular double chocolate-chip-cookies are baked with Patti’s Belgian dark chocolate (if you saw Wednesday’s Facebook post you knew this was coming). The cookies are incredible!

Happy Friday,
Come and get ’em!

One Comment on “Strong Enough to Hold Its Butter

  1. Hmm… I read that quote with a slightly different slant. I agree that the speaker probably views these qualities as “tend[ing]” to be isolating but I’m not sure he views them as a guarantee of isolation. I think the very nature of leadership, steadfastness, toughness creates the potential for others to distance themselves if they are in dis-accord (is that a word?). Those assuming leadership roles must be “willing” to face this possibility. However, I think the truly great Leaders – that’s right, the big L leaders – are those that can lead while maintaining relationships, building new ones, and fostering a sense of common struggle & shared outcomes, thereby fending off the isolation.

    Now…if we could just find a few more, like your father, with the skills to do that 🙂

    I enjoyed the post!

    Liked by 1 person

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