founder of naked leader
The Wisdom of Bake Off
A few years ago, it is end of term sports day at Olivia’s school. Egg and spoon, lots of fun and stalls set up by parents.
Towards the end of the day, we see a stall we have previously missed – guess the weight of the Cake – to win it!
Rosalind is an expert at cakes – the cake in the picture was baked by her. She immediately starts chatting to the lady on the stall, who made it…’What sugar did you use?’ ‘What type of icing?’ etc. etc. Initially I am standing around, pretending to be interested, and then I remember a book I had recently read – The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few by James Surowiecki
3 minutes to six – the stall is going to close and announce the winner at six – people are gathering to hear. Rosalind is still putting the lady through Mastermind. I pick up the thick card attached to the table – it has 60 different weights – over 50 guesses have already been completed with a name next to the weight. I start to calculate – in my head I add all of the weights that people have so far guessed, and then divide the total by the number of people who have had a guess – the central idea from the book.
No, I’m not that clever.
I get out my phone and open the calculator.
2 minutes to six. I properly add all of the weights that people have so far guessed, and then divide the total by the number of people who have had a guess – which includes Rosalind by now.
1 minute to six – I see that the total in front of me on the screen is a weight that is not yet taken. I write my name in.
There is a hush Rosalind looks confident, as do all of The Bake Off experts present.
The lady announces “And the winner is…David Taylor”
Next time you read a success, business or leadership book – take something from it and do it – the only way you will know if something works or not, is to do it. Then, you can have your cake, and eat it.
With my thanks to James, and my love and best wishes to you all
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