December 16, 2013

Don't Fixate on ONE Solution

Walking on the beach I noticed a dedicated, hard-working egret who knew what he wanted and thought he knew how to get it.
Fish in a bucket should be easy pickings, right?  The only problem was how to get them out of the bucket, because the fisherman had placed a weighted cover there... precisely to keep the egrets from eating his bait fish!
Throughout the morning other egrets smelled the fish in the bucket and came to check it out, but they quickly determined that there was a better way to get fish in the nearby surf. Not this guy, though. He was so fixated on this one solution to his hunger that he ignored the obvious solution that everyone else found. He was so convinced that this was an easier and better way, that he wasted the entire morning while all the other egrets got their fill of small fish in the surf. In fact, the fisherman told me this particular egret did the same thing every morning! Occasionally the fisherman would empty his bucket when he was through fishing, but he would never allow this particular egret to have any of the fish, because he was so fixated on this method of feeding that the fisherman knew he would never catch his own fish again if ever allowed to eat from the bucket. Even so, the egret still was determined that this was easier than catching fish in the water, so day after day he keeps dreaming of how to open the bucket and get at all those yummy fish that are just waiting to be eaten.

He reminded me of that simple definition of insanity--continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.


Hint to the Leader: Don't get so fixated on ONE solution to the problem. There might be another way. Be willing to think a new thought.

Hint to the Follower:  Don't take rejection of your suggestion of a solution as rejection of the problem you are seeing. The resources to open the bucket might be beyond your reach. When you hit a wall of limitations, turn around and look at the ocean of other ideas that might also work, be willing to follow the example of others who are already getting results.
© Copyright Dr. Larry Gay, December 2013
"Lessons on Leadership and Followership"

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