Starfish on the beach
There is an old story about a man standing on a beach that is covered with thousands of washed up star-fish (“sea stars” for the PC brigade).
He is picking up one at a time and throwing them back into the water. A bystander says to him “why are you wasting your time, there are so many of these you won’t make a difference” and as he throws another back into the ocean he says “I made a difference to that one”.
As a Manager over the years I have tried to follow this heart-warming story and focus on what can I do to help, even if it is just for one person?
Sometimes things have gone well and you get that nice sense of helping another human out of trouble and setting them back on track.
And then there are those days when the starfish comes charging back out of the water, gets all up in your face and basically says “WTF you do that for ?, Can’t you see I am happy here baking in the sun with my mates? Sod off “. And as you step over this angry chap to continue your walk up the beach, you think , mmm, that’s one big case of denial going on in that starfish brain, I guess it was a bit early to address its’ problems, maybe I will come back after lunch and see how it’s doing. And you resist the urge to arrange a few of them in circle, so as to have a group session about their “on the beach” predicament. Shrug your shoulders, question why you didn’t just work with machines, cos people don’t make sense to you today, and then look along the sand.
Oh well, who’s next for a short Ninja flight back into the water.