A colleague of mine shared an anecdote about breakfast not too long I found interesting. It starts with a simple question … when it comes to your breakfast, are you more like the chicken, or the pig? As you think about how to arrive at an answer, consider this … one is involved with the breakfast, while the other is fully committed.
Like I said, I found the question interesting, and it caused me to pause and reflect on my own situation. My initial reaction? Well, we have all known the chickens in the workforce … those who show up day in and day out and are involved, those who contribute (positively or negatively) and are a constant in the equation. Is that how I want to though of?
Most of us have also been exposed to the pig … those who are all in, the goal oriented people who are constantly driven, the leaders who paint a vision for success they obviously believe in and who energize everyone around them. Certainly that’s how we all want to be viewed, isn’t it?
Like I said, those were my initial reactions. But upon closer inspection I began to recall things about each that perhaps changed my perspective a bit. For example, sometimes you can be passionate and committed about something and be completely wrong. Sometimes those goal oriented pigs are the ones who will step on whomever they can for their own gain. Sometimes the pigs swoop in for a short time and disrupt the environment enough to cause swirl.
Then again, sometimes you rely on the longevity of the chickens who can steer you away from previous mistakes. Sometimes it’s the consistency of the chickens that ensures deadlines or milestones are met. Sometimes the chickens need to be rewarded because of their loyalty, especially during the tough times.
The colleague who shared the anecdote seemed more certain about his answer than I do. The more I think about it, I actually think there is bit of both the chicken and the pig in me … I want to be the leader who paints a compelling vision the team can be committed to … but I also long for the longevity/consistency.
I’m not so sure being both is a bad thing.