Sometimes as leaders we see a problem and choose to go ballistic, or use many pounds of TNT such as is the case in the hilarious newsreel of a whale being blown up shown above. What where they thinking? The problem is that they weren’t.
The problem of moving tons of dead whale seemed daunting. Really, all they thought about was getting rid of the whale, not anything else. So, when facing a problem to solve in leadership, here is a list of things to consider:
- Don’t think moving your problem is solving your problem. The whale on that Oregon beach was pretty stinky. But, moving that stink in the form of millions of peices of blubber did not seem like solving anything. Giving your problem to someone else is not solving your problem.
- Making your problem smaller, does not make it go away. Uhmm. Remember that pieces of a whale can still be pretty big. That poor car smashed a quarter mile away did not think you were reducing the size of the problem. You have to address the scale of your issue. If it is a big issue, it will cause a big mess to fix. Are you ready for that?
- Eskimos use knives on whales to transport them, not TNT–overkill is ridiculous! The shotgun approach means you are not thinking. A sniper approach means you prepare. Any Eskimo could cut that whale up with a large enough and sharp enough knife, right? Is your strategy or tactic an overkill?
- Exploding a whale is fun, but is it practical? Often, we as leaders like the buzz of the cool or latest thing, never counting the cost of the cascading consequences of our decisions. Strategic thinking means we think. Hmmm.
- Leaving the whale alone might be the best choice after all. Sometimes, the best choice is to let the whale rot. It might be big, but eventually a big storm will come and wash it away…or not.
What are your thoughts or points from the leadership lessons of an exploding whale?