The Lobsters Holding You Back
by James Henry McIntosh
Do you have lobsters on your team? For your sake, I hope not.
I recently suggested on my radio show and on my blog that you must fill your position if you want to keep it and more than fill it if you want to be promoted. The responses varied from ‘thanks for wasting my time' to the following tale of woe from a listener.
He once worked in union shops where if you even got close to filling your position, you would be told to slack off. As he put it, ‘it's a real morale killer'.
That reminded me of a fisherman's tale from my youth. A fisherman, walking along with a bucket of lobsters, is stopped by a friend. The friend asks if the lobsters won't escape by climbing out of the bucket. ‘No', replies the fisherman, ‘You know what lobsters are like. When one gets near the top, the others pull him back down'.
Now you know why those climbing the corporate ladder often behave badly. Sometimes that's the only way to kick free of the lobsters holding you back.
As to the reader who complained that I wasted his time... well, I would normally agree with him. To me it is rather obvious that you should fill your position or more than fill it to be promoted. And yet, I still meet people who don't ‘get it'. These are people who visibly never extend themselves at work and then complain that they never get offered ‘a bigger job'.
So, to the reader who felt that I wasted his time I have this to say: My comments were obviously not meant for you, because you obviously ‘get it'. Do you think you could help others ‘get it'? Because, quite frankly, I am tired of people who don't get it, don't fill it and then don't zip it.
To my way of thinking, only lobsters behave worse.
James Henry McIntosh may be contacted at http://www.nonsenseatwork.com firstname.lastname@example.org
James Henry McIntosh is the Chief Nonsense Officer for NonsenseAtWork.com. He advises executives on dealing with nonsense at work in the hope that this will make them, their teams and their organizations more effective. When this gets the better of him, he retreats to writing and public speaking until his confidence returns. He has been repeating this cycle for more than 20 years without seriously hurting anyone. Sign up for free newsletter on http://www.nonsenseatwork.com