High on a mountain top above tree line is not a good time for nature to call. Fortunately, many National and State Parks actually have backcountry toilets. Few are as nice as what you have at home, yet many come with some distinction including the most beautiful views. They give the phrase “contemplating nature” a whole new meaning.
Unfortunately, the flies also like that beautiful view and congregate around the toilet, hundreds of flies at times. Relieving yourself in the backcountry may not be pleasant, yet it is a fact of life that must be addressed. The same is true for unpleasant business situations.
Identifying Flies In Your Business
Few people like flies. They can serve a purpose, but most people don’t enjoy engaging with them, especially at a mountain-top toilet. Yet we often attract them to our business because of the “waste” we produce.
Different types of flies are attracted to different substances and material. Some are attracted to waste or rotting meat. Others are attracted to sugary or vinegary substances. Do you want to be followed around by a team just waiting for you to fail, wanting to know what you will screw up that will make them look better? They will feed off your “waste,” allowing them to look much better in the business environment.
The reality is that without a good team and a good culture, waste gets in the way. A culture of gossip attracts people who gossip. A culture of bad attitudes and blame attracts people with bad attitudes who like to blame others for their problems. The family business leader who is disorganized will attract employees who are disorganized. The manager who is a poor planner will attract employees who resist planning.
A lack of clean-up attracts a certain type of crowd. Is it the crowd you want?
Start Reducing Your Waste
How do you get rid of flies at the mountain top toilet? Usually by closing the lid—it minimizes the attraction (although it doesn’t completely eliminate it). Don’t you wish all flies were that easy to get rid of? The flies that we work with are often a mirror of who we are and how we manage. What we tolerate or even accept is reflected in our businesses, teams, and projects.
Our business days are full of time, talents, and opportunities that can create success for every employee. But if we’re not careful in how we manage, if we don’t “close the lid” when necessary, we can waste our time, talents, and opportunities and watch as the flies come to see what they can get.
Are flies congregating around your family business, your project, or your career? Are they having a field day with the mess you have left behind? What will you do about it?