Peixoto the fisherman

A mate of mine on LinkedIn shared this story and I thought I’d pass it along.

Setting: A boat docked in Ferragudo, a tiny fishing village in the Algarve region in the South of Portugal.

An American tourist approached Peixoto and complimented the Portuguese fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered Peixoto.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

Peixoto explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs… I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

And after that?” asked Peixoto.

With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a great City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked Peixoto.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said Peixoto.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

Moral of the Story… Know where you’re going in life… you may already be there!

How focused are you in regards to where you’re headed? Who’s plan are you following? Who’s life are you living?

Hope that tale gave you some insight as to what’s possibly NOT working for you lately. Or then again, maybe you were as smart as Peixoto to begin with.

Inspiration for your journey

A resource came across my screen this morning in the form of a Simple Truths video clip entitled The Power of Teamwork in inspired by the Blue Angels.

As I reflected on the many companies, large or small, not to mention organizations of thought leaders and social influencers, I thought of the core principles my clients hold dear after our Strategic Alignment & Planning sessions.

Does your team work? Do they work as a team? As a team, have they become stronger than the some of themselves as individuals? After aligning a team around a center point of commonly shared core values, I find that they’re more ready to commit to success and the pursuit of exceeding expectations. Once they’ve aligned around a strong mission, or purpose, they more readily adapt a “can do” attitude and strive for perfection. I liken it to Les Brown’s quote of “shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars”. Attitude is indeed Altitude and with a strong purpose your team is guaranteed to fly higher!

Does your team visualize their accomplishments? How strong is your company’s or organization’s vision? Make your vision clear enough for your team to clearly visualize on the foggiest of days and you’ll watch them set a new standard of excellence on a more regular basis. What level is your team playing at? Are they bringing their A game? Are they willing to raise the bar every opportunity they get? If they are striving for a common goal, and they have a clear vision of the actions required to reach their objectives, then you’ll find them looking to make the impossible possible. Getting them all on the same page is therefore the key!

How do you get such clarity of focus? How do you get such clarity of vision? It’s rather easy when you focus on preparation! Preparation is king and all of the detail is indeed in the preparation. When you can’t afford hours & hours of practice, then process becomes your lifeline. Procedures and a detailed script for accomplishing your goals & objectives must be SMART. that’s what will separate the winners form the losers. How do you achieve this? Personally I’ve always counted on the One-Page Strategic Plan.

As a leader, are you walking the talk? Are you setting an example for excellence? Are you providing feedback through structured periodic performance reviews, quick Daily Huddles & pulse checks? Effective & quick Weekly Strategic Meetings and Reality Checks? Are you making the necessary adjustments to prevent a rapid lose of cabin pressure and altitude that will send your teams i search of the oxygen masks? And in the event of a disaster, or severe economic downturn, are you teams and your organization agile enough to respond with determination and conviction?

I have two examples of clients that in the first 6 months of this year, whilst having opposite fortunes due to the economical impact of their separate industries, share the same common result. One is 30% up on his business in general from last year, and in a key focus area, blew out his 30% increase KPI to 150% just in the first quarter. His industry sector is flat by the way. Another client has been less fortunate. His industry has been hard hit and on average his competitors are reporting a +50% downturn on last years performance, yet his own results are only 25% off the mark! What do these two organizations have in common? Focus! Where did they get that focus? Clear communication and alignment on what needs to be done, by whom, by when and bounded by their Core Ideology (Core Values, Mission & Vision)!

Having read through this article, do you see your team flying at the same altitudes? Is your team taking off or is to grounded? It does take work, I wont kid you, but believe me when I say it takes allot less work to correct your flight plan when built on a solid navigation plan, through a multitude of reality checks and minor adjustments, then the energy required to pull your organization out of a nose dive, especially if you’re already out of parachutes.

Thank you for your attention and I wish you a safe & powerful journey! And please remember, for the sake of your own safety and welfare, fasten your seat belts and make sure you’re following your own plan, otherwise you’ll find yourself on someone else’s flight path.


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