Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Take A Risk: "Change Your Tank" (Part 2)

A fish's maximum growth is relative to the size of its tank. The larger the container, the larger the fish will become. Conversely, a fish can die prematurely if it does not have enough room to adequately grow: fish never outgrow their tank. The fish must be relocated before it can resume growing.

Does your paradigm need a shift: do you need a 'change of tank'?  Is the current paradigm hindering? Is the fear of "different" causing no transition to occur? Failure and risk are a part of improving, learning and developing. Growth is awaiting in that new paradigm. For a while, you may feel like the proverbial "fish out of water", but the important question is - "To where is the fish going?" Look above. Where is the fish going?

In Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, Nemo and his father, Marlin, take a lot of risks. At first, Marlin attempts to shield his son from everything, but Nemo's risk-taking eventually helps them reunite at the climax of the film. Why is Nemo so driven? He never wants to be kept in a 'small tank' (e.g., a perceived restrictive environment). After being captured by scuba divers, Nemo desires to return to his bigger tank - the ocean! He knew what opportunities were out there. Nemo did not want to be contained to the "floor-crawling vantage point" of the small tank, desiring for himself and his fishy friends something grander.

The neat part of the film is when Marlin begins to take risks. The movie becomes energized, because the most progress is made by his risk-taking. The viewers support Marlin each step of the way. Where do you need to take a (healthy and safe) risk - others will likely be behind you!

Marlin was rescuing his son: What do you need to rescue? Where do you feel constrained or ineffective? 'Good' expectations can actually hinder growth and productivity. Maybe a change of tank/paradigm is not yet necessary but a reorganization of priorities. Perhaps there is too much surrounding you, and things need to be selectively removed.

First - Clean your tank. 
Second - Change your tank when you are ready to grow. It's a risk.

Kevin Dengel

Caveat: Leaders should not take people out of their "life zone". For example, a goldfish cannot survive in saltwater - it just cannot happen. Do not throw yourself or others into a situation where there will be no success. It is through a series of "comfort zone" transitions that we learn and grow the most.

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