Skip to main content

Which Wolf are you Feeding?

Which Wolf are you Feeding?

 An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: (Sources – See below)
A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy.   It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.   One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you – and every other person, too.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf will win?”
The old man replied simply “ The one you feed”.
When I came across this story in a thriller by Michael Robotham, my reaction was immediate.  This is a great hook for creating positive thinking and, importantly to our business, a new way to approach an age old concern.
Feeding the good wolf - focusing on the right stuff!
 The message is simple, the wolf you feed is the one that grows.
The good wolf attributes in a business – engaged employees, great client experience, integrity, excellent product, innovation, pro-activity, profitability, accountability, sustainability, marketing, growth, positive energy, urgency and passion – I am sure you can add to this list easily.
How do we starve the evil wolf in business?
 The evil wolf contributes – unfairness, disengaged employees, negative client experiences, reactive, external locus of control, poor decision making processes, misrepresentation, disrespect, prejudicial practices and unconscious bias.
Once again, I know this list is not definitive, and each business might have specific practices that prevent positive growth.
I do know that managers typically spend a disproportionate percentage of their time dealing with problems, whether staff, clients or just general day to day challenges.      We spend time looking for a R100 discrepancy while a R100 000 opportunity slips by.
 Feeding the Good Wolf
The problem is that the good wolf is not nearly as hungry as the bad one.   
We are constantly feeding the bad one, to keep him quiet, forgetting that the good wolf is slowly starving, but not wanting to fight for attention.
Can we ignore the problem solving?   Of course not -it’s about balance.    None of this is easy.   I believe in focusing on not allowing things to drift.
We are all so busy, we don’t address issues as they arise, with the result that they grow until they are almost unmanageable. 

And it is so important to try and remove self-interest and ego from our decision making processes.
Rolling out the concept
Like many companies, we have tried many different ideas to ensure that we spend our time where it counts most.  The wolves bring that into a sharper focus.  
We are planning to introduce this across every level of the business.   We will be asking the question at the beginning of meetings and at various points of the day.
If the answer to “Who am I feeding?” is “The Bad Wolf” more than the good one, it will be time to address priorities.
In difficult economic times, we need to choose who to feed, and when, very carefully.
It’s a matter of survival.

Links, References and Notes

Accsys provides people management solutions ie Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Time and Attendance as well as Access Control/Visitor Management.
The company develops, implements, trains and services our solutions.  We provide readers, turnstiles, booms and CCTV.
We run both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile options for ESS.  Recruitment, online education and Outsourcing are part of our offering, too.
Michael Robotham – Close your eyes
http://www.accsys.co.za/accsys-peopleplace-talent-management
email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn
Note:   Thank you for reading my blog.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.

Popular posts from this blog

It's Not My Job

It’s Not My Job
Assuming that there are reasons for saying this: 1.It’s not your job and is totally is outside of your skill set 2.It’s not in your KPIs and you don’t want to do it 3.You believe you are being exploited and want to draw a line as to what you will and won’t do. Outside your skill set This is reasonable and there could be many scenarios where this is appropriate
·Where there is a safety or special licence requirement to do the job eg driving a forklift truck
·Where there is a formal qualification like giving legal advice
·Where additional qualifications are required as in a medical doctor without surgical qualifications or experience


Not in my KPIs This response could be perceived as a lot more negative, not to mention career limiting. If there is a good reason why you can’t step outside your pure job description, share that immediately.  ·“I would love to be able to help, however, I need to complete this project by 5 pm today and I am out of the office all day tomorrow at our larg…

It's Not Your Fault, But..

It’s Not Your Fault, But…
Its’s not mine, either. When something goes wrong, whether at work or home, most people immediately start casting around for somebody to blame. Over the weekend, I was reading and drinking a cup of coffee which was perched on the arm of the couch.  I do this daily, and have never spilled it.   My daughter came into the room, I put my reader down next to me and we started chatting.  A little later, I picked the reader up, turned to my coffee, and knocked it over.  Something in my expression caused her to ask whether it was her fault.  Of course, it wasn’t, but a mean, small part of me was thinking, well, no, but if you hadn’t come in the room…  And she was kind enough to help me clear it up!
If that lamp post wasn’t there If that faster person wasn’t in the race If the traffic light hadn’t turned red at just that moment If we hadn’t hired Joe, I would have got the promotion If, if, if….. We are very quick to accept the “if” when it is about us, and much slower to do so…

Why Employees Stay

Are your employees staying because of their managers? Popular thought indicates that people leave because of their managers, so is the opposite also true?
Added to that is the view that it is always the good people who leave.
Fortunately, that is not a view, not a fact!
Great people stay. The challenge is to understand both why people stay and why they leave.
As in sales, management ask sales people to find out why they lost a deal. It is even more important to find out why a deal was won.
At Accsys, we realised years ago that we were finding out what individual’s issues were after they had resigned and moved on mentally. We designed a system that allows us to understand our employees’ expectations on a regular basis, not just at increase time, as well as share our expectations with them.
Nothing works all the time, but it has given us much more insight and created a positive manager/employee relationship model.
So why do people stay? Today, many of us have good social media presences and…