About Fish Sizes and Egos

Posted on June 20, 2009


About Fishes!

About Fishes!

There are big fishes, medium fishes and small fishes. Not sure if the medium fishes are just to make the small fish not feel so bad though.

As a young professional, quite critic and why not say a lot arrogant as well, I learned something about egos, pride and about hierarch this week.

I am the small fish! …trying to believe I am a medium one (to not feel bad) and times to times trying to act like the big one. Small fishes are kids, like me.

When you work with a critical thinking mind set, like I do most of the times, quite often I found myself doubting on the leadership decisions. My question here is how to deal with that.

I’ve never been afraid to show my ideas, lately, I’ve been feeling like a kid when I do so, maybe with maturity you also see clearer your own deficiencies, I can see my lack of self confidence, experience and perhaps communication skills to make a point valid.

This week I commit the mistake, and the same time, had the privilege to try to be a big fish. As simple result, my motivation to keep working on the organization was destroyed, my moral falling apart same way. I am sure I had good ideas, but I was upset on many egos that would not let a kid interfere, I got lost then, lack of experience maybe to evaluate all different perspectives, lost my point easily, giving punctual arguments, pointing my finger in other people’s direction (same fish size as me perhaps). Summarizing, a big disaster!

Well… but important lessons I took out from that meeting. My finger was pointing to other people, because my ego (yep, doesn’t matter how big you are, we all have egos) didn’t allow me to approach this people and do what I had to do… teamwork, feedback, set expectations, adapt if necessary… There is a mission behind our company, we have some goals…I want to go farther than just what I have to do, I believe it is good, but on that way, I might have forgotten that there other things more important that what I wish I could do…or what I wish the organization could do. That was my pride and my ego that took precious time from the organization towards innovation and positive change, just trying to hold it to myself, maybe just to have the credits of it. I feel this is also a lot of hierarchal pressure here, when you also have ambitions to take more responsibilities within the organization. How much can you push it?

I definitely could question here the ability of the leadership big fish of empowering people to bring innovation, but that’s not my intention now… just dealing with what I need to deal now.

I learned my lesson of humbleness applied to a business environment. Not easy to find your spot, but there will be always room to do more then you need to do, you just need to work with the right people in the right way, doesn’t matter in which level of fish you’re talking about. You are a good one, and a relevant one, when you work for the mission, the value, not for your size or the ego or whatever self-centered things you may want to consider.

When you focus on yourself, you are more selfish, more and more you have less space to grow, because you are just locking yourself in your ego and pride vicious circle. When you focus on the exterior, on the mission, on the purpose and the relevance of the organization and of your tasks, then you are able to serve more, and to be open to grow, to be creative, productive and motivated.

Big_EgoIt does feel good to break into a more philosophical approach and re-asses your values and behaviors. I have my motivation back, and can think of ways to make my work more relevant involving the right people to do so, instead of caring to impress the big fish… maybe he is just waiting me (or anybody else) to grow to his size before we can talk. What actually sounds more interesting that the little dog barking like crazy around the VP chair trying to be heard. The common sense always says a lot about acting and talking.

Just to mention, in case questions comes up, the size of the fish, has nothing to do with the size of the Ego, they are just coincidences sometimes.

Well…that’s it for now.

See you