Apr 19, 2011

Habit #2: Temptation of Forbidden (Low Hanging) Fruit

Low-hanging fruit are easy to get, bring in early gains, they are good to start with, enthuse people, change perceptions for good, improve morale, I give you that!

But once morale is pepped, perceptions are set right, you need real results...only real battles give real results, you need to go after damn good fruit, not just low hanging ones, that’s where the money is!

Beyond early gains, leaders ought to set right direction, nudge their teams in right direction  away from small stuff on to changes that nurtures long term growth sustainable gains - it is the primal function of leadership. A bad leader fails in this basic function, to set right direction.


Bad leaders get hung up on low-hanging fruit,
lacking in discipline, don't resist temptation of short term gains and measure performance around number of fruit picked not quality or value of the fruit. 

The result?

Teams go after easy wins, quick gains, shortcuts, no pains, bringing swift death of spirit and kill long term value adding stuff. This is a death habit, it destroys prospects of any long term gains. Leader 's credibility suffers, he will be forced to find relevance for what he is doing, often finding excuses as to things are not working as expected.

Preoccupation with small stuff is death, it is slow poison it is only a matter of time before bad leader gets the boot that he deserves.


Don’t Forget Theory of Normality

Best fruit are normally distributed through (spread through) the height of the trees - they are rarely (read never) concentrated at any one place, neither up on the top nor low hanging, but all over. If you  are after low-hanging fruit alone, you might as well get some best fruit once in a while - but there is no guarantee. Only way you can get best fruit most of the time is to pursue them all the time!

Minimal Effort with Maximum Gain is A Freaking Fallacy

The argument is just not relevant here because, the investment here is not the effort people are putting in, but people's knowledge and skill - you are already paying for it, whether or not you use them. When people save effort doing small stuff, they are screwing the mission. These same people might later complain of being under used and eventually quit if they are any good - dead wood will stay put anyway! This worsens what is already a bad picture. Resist the temptation of forbidden fruit at all costs, it is a primal sin! Get your teams to do stuff that kicks ass, demand the best always, you might as well get it...most of the time!!


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