Ever since I began consistently writing blogs over two years ago, I have received an overwhelming amount of feedback. Largely in part, I believe, because of my topic selection and self-reflection of my time spent as an athlete.

Full disclosure: My motivation for writing stems from my experiences on the field as a quarterback, however, I also have another passion – cooking.

Herein lies my first attempt at making a connection through my experience in the kitchen. Thanks for agreeing to be my guinea pigs as I explore this new realm. Wish me luck!

I grew up in a middle-class suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was raised by my mother and father who both had full-time jobs. During my upbringing, household chores were divided among my parents, myself, and my brother and sister.

It was in those early years that I discovered my love for cooking. I would watch my mom bake our birthday cakes year after year and spend hours in the kitchen perfecting cookies for Santa. My dad would use a generations-old recipe for Italian Wedding Soup and give his all at mastering the art of becoming a grill master.

As I got older, I became infatuated with cooking, mainly because I wanted to make sure I knew exactly what was fueling my body as a NCAA athlete and, eventually, an NFL quarterback.

Now, as a husband and father, I believe that I have really honed my skills as an above-average cook and I like to do my part around the house to help my wife in the kitchen and with the household chores, just as I did when I was a kid. Second full disclosure: I’m not a big fan of cleaning, but I believe that it is part of the “gig” nowadays. Right?

I have all the ingredients that one should have to become a great cook — desire, talent, and motivation — so why am I not in the culinary industry captivating consumers with my Top Chef abilities? Good question.

Cooking, to me, is a hobby. I like to try to new recipes and periodically watch shows and read books on the subject. But when it comes down to it, cooking is nothing more for me than an escape. It is something that I enjoy. And while I will never be the next Guy Fieri, have multiple shows on Food Network, or own several restaurants, my family and friends enjoy coming over for dinner and that is enough for me.

Here’s my link to leadership: If you like to read books, articles, newsletters, and listen to podcasts on leadership, that is fine. You can use those tools to stay abreast to current trends and topics. If this is all you choose to do, however, you will never reach an elite level.

At Solutions 21, we believe that there are two questions you have to answer if you want to be a great. The first: “Am I willing to do what it takes to get to and stay at the top of the mountain?” And two: “Am I capable of being great?”

Leadership is commitment. It requires dedication. Reaching a world-class level as a leader in an organization does not happen overnight. It takes time. Effort. Passion. And requires an unwavering attention to detail and a commitment to becoming world class.

So I ask you: How do you view your leadership capabilities? Is leadership a hobby or something in which you want to be great?

Only you can answer that!

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