Friday, December 5, 2008

Do Something With The Duck!

Here's an interesting quote that was sent to me today:

Getting your ducks in a row is not nearly as powerful as actually doing something with your duck.
-Seth Godin

So what does this mean to you? I know a lot of workers who toil everyday to get their ducks in a row. These ducks in a line help you achieve your job goal for which you are reviewed on at some point in the year. I am sure that some people line up their ducks and do nothing with them at all. They can line up a ton of ducks, but can't do anything with the ducks.

I tend to think that I line up a ton of ducks. I do execute the ducks that I have and some ducks are successful and other ducks are failures. There is nothing worse than a duck that can't swim. I have certainly had enough duck failures to know, but I have also had many duck successes. To some, I may do too much with my ducks because then they are asked to line up ducks as well and execute those ducks. I line up my ducks and do something with my ducks because I see the larger pond at the end of the horizon. Once you line up enough ducks, they can actually move to the place you want them, but not without great guidance and care. And sometimes you pick up random ducks along the way and the line gets bigger than you thought it would. Ok, you might lose a few along the way too, but there is always a hint of "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" in the duck process.

To be honest, I have recently begun to get bored with lining up ducks and doing something with the ducks. I used to have so much fun lining up those darned ducks, and even if I failed, it was a testament to what really worked. This is Duck Research. I sometimes think that I have executed so many ducks that I dream of simply lining them up again and letting someone else do something with the ducks...a sort of team effort. My view of the pond has changed. Somewhere along the way it became a raging river. I know I led the ducks to this, but can you do too much with the ducks? I think so.

Just yesterday I had to walk myself from the ledge. And I was wondering how I got to the ledge in the first place. Then this quote came along, and with all my other thoughts, it hit me...I am lining up ducks and doing something with the ducks, but maybe it is not what is wanted, or maybe I am more concerned with the ducks safety than anyone else. Failure can be success. But what I experienced lately was that I lined up the ducks, and was doing something with the ducks, when out of the blue someone else came in and took ownership of my duck. So while I am not the one leading it to the great pond (or river), I did help bring that duck "in line" and to a place where it can be used for success. It just won't be my success.

So while some people just line up ducks, and others execute ducks in proper fashion, and some do both, I see my duck being taken from my line to another line. My first thought was that the whole situation was a waste of time...and in many ways it was, but the duck will live. And this duck will provide job protection, company profits, and community spirit to many, but not for me. At first this made me emotional, and now it merely "quacks" me up. I am happy my duck will live to bring so much joy; even if it is not my personal joy. A good duck is a good duck, isn't it?

I don't think I can line up ducks like I used to. I don't think I can do anything with the volume of ducks. I think I might watch the pond, and help those individual ducks that need attention. I will allow the others around me to line up ducks and give it a whirl. I have experienced a lot from my ducks, and worked hard for a lot of my ducks, but maybe those around me have not. And while they complain about the size of the pond, maybe I need to just "duck out" for a while and see if others populate the pond. I know they can. They know they can. And we will see if they want to really work to achieve the experiences of duck failure and duck success.

Interesting quote, isn't it? Read it again yourself and see what comes into your mind. There is no right or wrong answer. Do it. What the duck do you have to lose anyway?

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