Last night I watched “River Monsters,” a show about a man named Jeremy Wade, who searches for the fiercest fish in freshwater. My son told me about it, knowing how I love interesting characters and stories.
Yesterday’s show was all about the eel, which is much more than slippery. Apparently when they’re hungry they become extremely aggressive (don’t we all). Many grow as long as eight feet, and weigh more than a hundred pounds.
Jeremy went fishing for eel one night, but here’s the interesting part. He didn’t use a hook. Instead, he wrapped frozen fish in some string and put it on the end of his line. He was told by local tribes that the eel is so aggressive he could reel it in without a hook because the eel would refuse to let go of the bait.
I think this is what happens to us during times of change. We hold onto the glory days (which never really existed, by the way), and refuse to let go. Those leaders that don’t want to change, either, bait their employees with stories and memories of days when “things were good.”
I listen to leaders us the following bait to keep people disgruntled:
All of these statements are thrown to people who are hungry for information and security. They grab onto the comments, and the leader reels them in and puts them on their side of the river.
Sadly, the “hooked” employees end up fighting the change, and even if they survive it the misery they’ve been put through causes them to be sick and tired through most of the process. Those employees with leaders who help them move forward will be fed information and positive messages that will keep them satiated. They won’t be hooked by negativity.
Going through change? Ask yourself if you’re helping others change or simply baiting them for future misery. By the way, once eels get hungry enough, they devour each other. Don’t encourage the future cannibalization of your team’s success. Help them change.
If you’re interested in stories about River Monsters, I’d buy this: