This popular business fable will kill your success…accidentally.
A good parable helps you retain a valuable lesson for a lifetime. But what if a parable that leaders love to tell is missing the point? Oops.
The story as it’s usually told….
If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket, eventually one of them will climb to the top and start to escape. (That’s you!) Just as it’s about to break free, another crab reaches up and pulls it back down.
The moral of the story is a warning:
If you plan to do something big, beware! People don’t like it when you move up, and they’ll try to hold you down.
It’s a useful lesson.
It’s true that some people will try to drag you down when you reach the top of the bucket.
That lesson will keep you safe, but it won’t help you succeed.
If you plan to do really big things, you need to know the second chapter of the story and the lesson it carries.
If you’ve ever led a revolution in your company or in your industry, you’ve already read Chapter 2.
Chapter 2: Their perspective — Why those crabs are pulling at you?
In that bucket of crabs lie your future allies and advocates. Don’t diss them so quickly.
Have you ever tried to get close to someone who’s having more success than you are? Someone with wisdom and experience.
That person is on the way up, and you want to learn from him or her.
You’re reaching up — but it’s not to pull them down. You’re asking for a hand up so you can see the world from their perspective.
You may even be trying to support that crab who’s found the way out. That’ll be a lot easier once you’ve experienced the world at their level.
Adjusting your view from the top.
If you’re the one at the top of the bucket right now, your grand business goal is way too big to deliver by yourself.
You need many of those crabs from your bucket to join your cause. Future allies and advocates, remember?
And they’re reaching up, asking for your support.
Know the whole story before you act.
If you know only the first chapter of this story, you’re going to fight off the very people you need to help you.
Yes, some of them do want to take you down. But not all of them.
If you want to lead a revolution, your job includes pulling up those people.
They might point out the flaws in your plan, at first. They may be nervous and intimidated.
But if you kick them all back into the bucket, you just killed your revolution.
Understand the whole story before you act. Are you kicking or pulling?
Please share a comment: How are you supporting the people who can help you deliver your revolution?