“When you’re up to your arse in alligators it’s difficult to remember that you’re there to drain the swamp.”
The thing about fighting alligators is that it’s exciting and energising and engaging – you certainly know you’re alive. For some people this is a massively addictive narcotic.
Of course the lower you are in the organisation the more your job is about fighting alligators. That’s fine. Somebody has to do it, but this isn’t the problem.
No, the problem is when you’re a leader and you’re still addicted to fighting alligators. It’s what you’re good at; it’s familiar and it feeds “the habit” but it’s not what you should be doing.
Most successful leaders can’t wait to see an end to their alligator-scrapping days so they can concentrate on the swamp. It’s a hallmark of all great leaders.
If you’re a leader the question has to be: are you currently more of an alligator or a swamp person?