Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who's smarter, you or a Lion?

Photoexpress / MLA Photography
Let me finish the rest of the question. When in the jungle, who's smarter, you or a lion? Adding that one sentence makes a world of difference to the question being asked. Most of you were probably thinking, "I'm smarter" Yeah, sure, if your in downtown Manhattan. If you were out on the plains of the Serengeti, I would lay money on the lion. Where I am leading us to? To this; You may be the expert in your field, but there will come the day when you will require someone else's help.

I consider myself to be a handy kinda guy. I can do most, do-it-yourself, projects around the house. They may not always turn out like Bob Villa did them, but there not bad. My arch nemesis right now is the plumbing under my kitchen sink. ( I hope this doesn't get my "Man card" revoked!) I have "worked" on it, off and on, for a couple of months. Every time I think I got it fixed, I discover that it has bested me again. Today for example, I went under the kitchen sink to get a house-hold cleaner. When I opened the doors, I got smacked in the face with a smell that well, smelled like someone had, (Excuse me here for being gross) puked under my kitchen sink. My disposal had leaked around the outlet pipe and had settled in a nice stagnate pool among my cleaning supplies.  Sorry for the real descriptive writing, but I wanted to ensure you got the point.

Now, my lion, the plumbing under the kitchen sink. Is in it's jungle, I'm a foreigner there. What I have to do is find someone who can outsmart this lion in the jungle and make real progress. My lion tamer will be a plumber or at least a friend that has a better understanding of plumbing then I do. I have to admit, I'm not one who throws in the towel easily or quickly. Sometimes though, swallowing your pride and admitting you need help is a lot faster then trying to figure something out for yourself and getting less then desired results.

As leaders, we often tie ourselves up trying to fix or improve something and it costs us time and energy that we could be spending  elsewhere. Don't fall into the trap that just because your the "Leader" means that you must always come up with the right answer. Understand that no matter how good of a mouse or lion trap you may build, there is always going to be someone, somewhere that has built or is going to build a better trap. These are the people you need to find and network with, that way, the next time you have a lion to tame it won't take you nearly as long.

Where are your lions? Do you tame them or do you get help?


Anonymous said...

Excellent analogy Greg. As a leader it is crucial that you understand your teams strengths and weaknesses as well as your own. Be careful not to let your ego convince you that you are better suited for a task then youre coworkers. Im not a big fan of considering myself a supervisor or a boss, I am a team member and my specialty is putting the right person on the right job. If I need to catch a gazelle Im sending the Lion in, if I need to outrun a Lion, in goes the Gazelle. If I have a plumbing problem...I may ask you if you know a good plumber!

Voices of Leadership said...

Thanks for your comments and the time to make them.You don't have to be labeled a "Leader" to provide leadership. Sounds like you got it down pretty good. It's always good to know where and when to put your resources to the best use. Thanks again for participating.


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