By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you cope with adverse circumstances. Reading time: 3:26.
You lost a big account. You were passed over for that big promotion. And now you feel like you’re being pushed down the proverbial Blame-and-Shame River, drowning in your sorrows and kicking in your despair.
Stop! Dam it. And leave it to the beaver in you.
Build a dam over those chaotic circumstances in your life, just like a beaver does naturally and systematically.
Take control like a beaver. Push back against that river. Prop yourself up against that stream. And create a new, more viable environment where grasses and water plants now flourish and where the brush and willows along the shore now attract deer.
That’s what leaders do: they create more viable working environments. Especially when the circumstances they find are lousy. Then these beavers leaders create their own circumstances as playwright George Bernard Shaw once observed:
“People are always blaming
their circumstances for what they are.
I don’t believe in circumstances.
The people who get on in this world
are the people who get up and look
for the circumstances they want and
if they can’t find them, make them.”
The next time you are bemoaning your circumstances, go ahead and vent. Scream. Get it out of your system. Damn it. Then dam it.
Stop! Dam It!
Dam it up with the mighty effort of resourcefulness and persistence that beavers do in building dams with surprising prowess.
Pulling and tugging on mud, twigs, brush and sticks and stones, beavers build dams as long as 2,000 feet and as high as 10 feet above the water. In fact, beavers working mostly at night haul as much as 500 pounds of logs per day or 10 times their weight.
And their brains match their brawn.
When logs get too heavy they carve out canals off the pond that forms behind the dam. Their dams include cozy lodges and even refrigerators where they can keep their food fresh year around. They use only the resources they have available.
So can you when your world is flooding. Look at what resources you still have under your control when circumstances flood away your dreams.
Consider this real life example of two famous leaders in the television industry unleashing their beaver industry when their world had flooded in a pool of negativity.
It’s 1950 and CBS television executives balk at the premise of proposed program about a newly married couple: a red-haired, American wife and her husband, a band leader with a heavy Cuban accent.
But Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez said “Stop. Dam it.” Then they unleashed the beaver in them to change the stream of consciousness in the TV executives.
They looked around for resources they had under their control. Not much.
And, yet everything they needed.
The only resource they had was their vision and creative zeal. They started pushing those resources into a new direction that eventually created a “pond” of viewers who loved the concept.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez gave a dam. These two eager- beaver leaders took their program on the road and proved the concept of their program during a nationwide vaudeville tour.
Then they sold the program to CBS in 1951. The I Love Lucy television program first aired in 1951 and is still in syndication today in more than 80 countries.
The leadership lesson is clear: When the River of Life flows against your will; when that raging river drowns your dreams in a flood of frustration, and washes away your hopes for the future, STOP. Dam it!
And Leave It to the Beaver –in you.
Create your own circumstances to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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