I’m going to share my thoughts today about our little fish friend, however I first wanted to tell you what Bruce Carter said about my question. Bruce is a connection of mine on LinkedIn. I’ve never met Bruce personally, but his question at the end of his answer was awesome!
Bruce Carter: A fish will try to jump out of the water because of low oxygen levels, poor water quality, an aquarium or bowl that is too small, or bullying tank mates. If a fish needs to breathe air at the surface, it rarely jumps out of the aquarium – it just swims to the surface and puts its mouth above the water. Some fish species will however try to escape if the oxygen level is so low that they think they are stuck in a puddle that is gradually drying out. Then some fish species are natural jumpers, e.g. because they are used to catching insects above the water in the wild or because they jump out of the water to impress a mate during courtship. What does this have to do with dentistry?
What does this have to do with dentistry…or anything for that matter? Well…in my career I have often felt like I was in a fishbowl. I could only see a short distance away from my current location. I felt trapped at times, like I had no clear purpose. At the same time, I found myself competing with others I worked with to “get that small morsel of food” that was dopped in the bowl now and again.
I like my career choice, but I began hitting a glass ceiling many years ago. Perhaps for our analogy, it wasn’t a ceiling as much as it was the water line of the fishbowl I was in. I asked myself “is there more than this”? And if so, I wondered, “what else is out there, and how do I find my way to it without getting hurt?”
I believe there are three possible reasons for the jumping behavior of our fish friend:
1. He’s trying to jump out of the bowl because he’s not happy in his bowl. “Anywhere is better than here” he may be thinking…
2. He’s getting away from something he fears. Something he fears even more than the unknown.
3. He likes to jump—it’s exciting to him, and he doesn’t care how risky it may be…
This very behavior may mirror some of the behaviors we exhibit, or have seen others exhibit in our own fishbowl environment.
Does this fish represent an individual that:
- Tries new things?
- Thinks out of the bowl?
- Has an entrepreneurial spirit?
Perhaps this picture represents an individual that:
- Is an outsider to the rest of the individuals in the bowl?
- Is alone because he/she doesn’t work well with others?
- Is not liked by others?
- Is anti-social?
Lastly, perhaps this illustration represents an individual that:
- Takes foolish risks
- Doesn’t “think before he leaps”
- Will soon be cat bait
How do you identify with the fish in this picture? Does it represent your leadership style? Are you an entrepreneur, a maverick, or are you cat bait?
PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHICH ONE OF THESE POSSIBILITIES IS MOST FITTING TO YOU….