Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Well, that’s kind of hard with a gashing gap on one side. This week’s blog is not for the faint-hearted, now you’re warned.
Shimmering scales caught my attention. A bunch of them, just under the surface, like the mother of pearl enticing me to come closer. As I realised it was fish scales, another sight got into my far-left view, metres away. Onshore, left by the turn of the tide, a shiny, still fresh, dead fish.
A silver mulloway, 80 cm at least. Beautiful. Except for the gashing gap that had taken out most of the middle part of its one side.
Realising I was watching a very recent murder, a crime scene – except for the fact we don’t call it that when it’s nature’s way – it got me thinking of the part of the food chain we are seldom privy to.
Recognising that the bunch of shimmering scales would be where the attack must have happened. And then the distance to the casualty giving a story of part-escape, swimming for your life – and the tide somehow playing a role in the end result.
Why am I sharing all this? I’m not an expert in the fauna of the waterways in our local bush and creeks. I do not know if it was a bull shark or whether stingrays are natural predators for a beautiful, big fish like this one. I’m sharing because it reminded me of how we go about life and business sometimes.
Well, had the fish had the other side upwards, it would have looked pretty and whole. Which gashing gap?? Maybe I could have helped it back into the lowering tide and off it went. But seeing the reality of the gashing, big, gap – we all know it would have struggled to continue swimming. Could have pretended for a bit, but then definitely would have had to give in.
And why was only that one massive bite taken, why did the predator leave the rest of that lovely, nourishing food? I’ll never know. But because the turn of the tide caught it on land, I got to experience a little moment in nature’s food chain.
In business and life, we often have to keep swimming, fixing the gaps and roadblocks as we go along, keeping the team and ourselves afloat. But as for this fish, there is a limit to how much we can pretend and keep going.
Remember to pause. Remember to check for casualties. Remember to check for little scars or sore muscles in the numbers or engagement telling you that there is a weakness in the apparatus – that the teams or the business need to get into the dock to have an overhaul.
Most of the time, we can keep swimming while doing minor repairs. But turning a blind eye or overlooking major leaks is never a good strategy.
PS.: a week later, back at my spot, not a single proof or piece of evidence was left from the incident. Not a scale, not a skeleton, nothing, the tide had washed it all away. I still have insights and experiences from it, but if I hadn’t been there that moment the week before, just after it happened, I wouldn’t have known. And no one else would know or get value from the casualty and insights.
That’s like all the biggest dramas and crisis in our businesses and lives. It’s full-on while we’re in the middle of it. Impacts us enormously. But with the right tools, mindset and support, we move on. Wiser and better equipped for the higher level, higher quality problems awaiting us.
Turning the other cheek is a token of groundedness and balance, yet dire results can come from turning a blind eye or in this case disguising a gashing gap by turning onto the other side. What are some of the gaps or roadblocks you need to face? That you shouldn’t cover up or band-aid anymore? Yes, THAT gashing gap.
Let’s not turn a blind eye or pretend all is fine. Let’s face the music, do what needs to get done, and make sure every next stroke is building you, the team and the business stronger for the future and for what’s around the corner.