Too many cooks spoil the broth
In days gone by both sides of my family enjoyed family reunions. It not only provided opportunity for me to be with cousins that I didn’t often get to be with, but also to enjoy an abundance of delicious food, especially sweets. Most of the cakes, pies, and other desserts were already baked and then brought to the reunion. Usually there were some dishes of food prepared in the kitchen of the home where we had gathered. Several of the ladies got involved in the cooking and getting everything ready for the dinner. If more than one lady helped in cooking the same food item then it might be like the left hand not knowing what the right hand had done. There might be too much spices added to the food. Also, each cook has her own idea about what spices and how much should be added. Most cooks dispense with a recipe after preparing and cooking the same type dish for three or four times. Instead, they get in the habit of getting a spoon full of the food being cooked and tasting it. After doing so she might add a pinch of salt or some other seasoning to the food while it is still being cooked. If another lady later sprinkles in more seasoning the final results may not be to anyone’s satisfaction.
Thus, the expression: “Too many cooks spoil the broth” has figuratively come to mean any project overseen by more than one person can lead to confusion and even failure of a project. For example: large companies with several employees are often told to do the same task differently when approached by more than one overseer. The CEO (Chief executive officer) should use wisdom in passing orders down through the different level of overseers. As a rule it would probably be better, in most situations, if the boss immediately over a group of employees would instruct them in what’s to do be done by them.
The proverb: “Too many cooks spoil the broth” seemingly contradicts: “Many hands make light work.” But in reality their emphasis is different! The first of these sayings places emphasis upon who is in charge; whereas, the second places emphasis upon having more people actually doing the work. The latter one coincides with: “The more, the merrier!”