Ever Feel Like a Pigeon Sometimes?

Whether you are in the workplace or in your personal life, do you ever feel like a pigeon sometimes?  What exactly does this mean, you might ask?

If you are an information and knowledge junkie, you probably have an insatiable thirst to know and learn more.  You don’t just want to know when decisions are made, but why they are made.  Yes, you probably have your hands in alot of different places, and juggling multiple projects at any one time, but you are never satisfied.

Feeling like a pigeon occurs when you rely on others for the scraps of information that are being thrown down to you, hoping that each morsel will fill you up.  Pigeons will hang out around beings (usually humans) that can satisfy the pigeons need for food, and ultimately satisfaction.  Pigeons, when they can not obtain satisfaction in one location, they move to another location, hoping to have the desires satisfied.

As humans, our morsels of food are the nuggets of “why” things occur.  If you are in an organization where decisions are made by those disconnected from the processes and drivers, you are probably shaking your head thinking, “what were they thinking”?  Sooner or later you either become complacent and settle for mediocrity, or you decide to take action and move locations where hopefully your desires can be satisfied.  The thing about pigeons though, they never stop trying.  They will continue to come around, until a piece of bread is thrown their way.  The human thinks that the pigeon is satisfied, however, the satisfaction is only temporary, the pigeon will undoubtedly return for more.

As leaders, we need to expect that our teams have this desire to know why decisions are made, and it is up to us to keep feeding that need.  Teams and individuals understand confidentiality, they don’t understand secrecy. 

Feed the need, and productivity will take seed.  Don’t give teams and individuals a reason to look elsewhere for their morsels, because the outcome will usually not be what you ultimately want. 

How about you?  Do you ever feel like a pigeon?

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It’s a Journey, not a Sprint!

As many high schools, colleges, and universities prepare for commencements over the next month, many students will enter the “real world”.  As stated in the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic, “Every new beginning is some other beginnings end.”

For students they may enter the workforce, the military, or choose to continue their education at one of this country’s institutions of higher education.  When the pomp and circumstance is over, each person will now have to make their individual decisions for the rest of their lives.  Some will make good decisions, others, not so good.

In my house, we have volume’s of the “Book of Dumbass” as we affectionately refer to it.  Each day we live, we add another page, each month another chapter, and each year a new volume.  My boys know that each decision they make has a consequence, both positive and negative, and my wife and I hope we have instilled good decision making qualities in both of our sons.  For them making a bad decision is not the end of the world, as we all have made them in our lives.  Life is a journey, not a sprint. 

It is important throughout our careers and our lives that each of us remember that what we do is a journey, not a sprint.  We need to enjoy all that our experiences offer us.  You hear professionals comment all the time how the low points in careers made them stronger and better equipped to make tough decisions, or execute a plan, or a play in the future.  The experiences we all have as professionals and individuals provide us the tools and resources to draw upon to make better future decisions.

As leaders, it is up to us individually to mentor those around us.  Allow others to draw on our experiences, but also allow others to make mistakes as they create their experiences.  Losing or failing should never deter anyone.  Look at Abraham Lincoln.  Business failures, bankruptcy, elections losses, and ultimately became one of the most important figures in American or for that matter World history.  For him, life was a journey, not a sprint.

I had the privilege to coach youth football with someone in Oklahoma.  One of the mantra’s of that team was “Never, never quit”.  We would chant it before each game.  It instilled an attitude of long term success, even if the short term results were not successful.  Each player that played for him is developing into a winner in their own rights, both on and off the field.

As each person begins their next chapter in life, remember it is a journey, not sprint.