I probably have a slight OCD tendency when it comes to bananas. They have to be just right before I eat them, or I’m grossed out. I call it getting in the Banana Zone.
The banana has to be not-too-green or it tastes like hard grass. But if it’s even really started having any brown spots at all, it becomes a mushfest and I’ll have no part of it without holding back a dry heave. There is this “zone” right in between…not-too-green, not-a-touch-of brown, but perfectly yellow/slight green…which makes for a perfect banana experience.
The Banana Zone. The wrinkle in time where victories are born.
The interesting thing about the Banana Zone is that it can be applied to other areas of our lives. Think about it…if “timing is everything”, then finding the right timing and knowing when to use it to our advantage is really a skill we should have and list on our resumes. “Excels at operating in the Banana Zone.” Totally marketable.
Take sales, for example. It’s a delicate balance of developing the relationship with the customer, building trust, but maintaining urgency. It’s imperative to know exactly when to “strike” or close the deal or present the offer while it’s still hot. If you do it too soon, you scare them off or worse, offend them. If you wait too long, you may lose them to a competitor. The Banana Zone.
Interviewing and Job Searching. Knowing when to start job searching, when to start pay negotiations, when to send follow-up emails/letters…these are imperative to success. There are small windows of opportunity to complete these tasks without finding hard-green resistance, or discovering that it’s all turned to brown mush.
Asking for a raise. Having a baby when it’s a good time for your family…that takes unusual skill! Learning to argue skillfully and productively in marriage. Shooting a goal during a hockey game. Making the perfect egg on a Saturday morning with the windows open, the French Toast waiting, and a cool breeze flowing through the house.
Don’t get me started on the stock market. Empires are built and lost in the few seconds it takes to make that life altering decision with numbers scrolling by at lightning speed and chaotic yelling..
The list is endless.
It’s all about the zone.
Now…finding the zone is a whole other beast entirely. Everyone’s Banana Zone is different and we all operate within that window differently. It takes time, patience, and a keen eye of self-observant behavior. Some people never find it because they never took the time to see how they liked to eat their banana. That’s a great starting point. Do you like your bananas green, just-yellow, brown-spotted, or straight up brown liquid (are you sure that’s a banana?)… Pay attention next time.
How do you like your banana?
(also published on LinkedIn here)