Is it Better to Whack Alligators, or Drain Your Swamp?

Is it Better to Whack Alligators, or Drain Your Swamp?

By Linda Miller, MCC

Photo credit: Bogeskov / Foter / CC BY

Toward the end of a recent coaching engagement with a client, I asked what he had gained from our time together.  He was very kind with the things he shared, and he finished with a comment that caused me to laugh out loud — and to think deeply.  He said, “Even though I don’t always like it, thank you for pushing me to drain my swamp rather than just letting me whack alligators.”

As I pondered his statement, it made me think about how often we spend our time whacking alligators. Honestly, it’s fun to whack those alligators. I even brag about them to my friends and co-workers. We all do.

But what if the alligators are the small decisions and the swamp represents the bigger decisions? That would mean that I need to shift my focus to the big decisions, which makes the small ones much easier.

What if the alligators represent the urgent decisions and the swamp represents the important ones?  The urgent can consume all of my time. Shifting to the important creates long-term growth and change.

What if I do decide to drain my swamp? What happens to the alligators?  (That was my husband’s question when he reviewed this posting. I think it’s a very interesting one!)

Coaching Tip:  Are you still whacking alligators? What would it take to drain your swamp? What steps do you need to take? And what support do you need to get it done?

About the Author

Linda Miller, MCCLinda Miller, MCC The Ken Blanchard Companies Global Liaison for Coaching 602.268.1110 Direct 602.421.9927 Cell