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
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