Fresh fish has long been an important part of the Japanese diet, but the challenges of meeting the demand was overtaxing the area’s waters.
To solve the problem, fishing companies acquired bigger boats that could go farther out. But—as is often the case—the solution brought with it a different problem.
Longer trips to more distant waters meant the fish had to be frozen on the boats. But frozen fish didn’t suit the refined Japanese taste in seafood, and prices for the frozen fish quickly dropped.
So it came to the next idea—installing fish tanks in place of the freezers. After a little thrashing around, the fish became listless and apathetic—and their lethargy, like freezing, affected the taste of the final product. Consumers were still unsatisfied, and the industry was in crisis.
Then they came up with a brilliant solution to keep the fish tasting fresh. They added a small shark to each of the fish tanks. Fearful of the shark, the fish were constantly on the move—keeping them active and therefore fresh.
Just like those fish, we all sometimes are in situations where we don’t want to be, racing to stay ahead at whatever is nipping at us. But it’s not 100 percent bad (well, at least not for us—it’s hard to find an up side from the fish’s perspective).
Here are some of the benefits of being thrown in with a shark or two:
Sharks keep you fresh. To solve the challenges that face us, whether they’re everyday or extraordinary, means finding an innovative way to transform the source of the challenge. That’s a task that’s much easier to do when you can draw on the power of staying fresh, using new experiences to shape old ideas.
Sharks keep you engaged. Indifference is no longer an option. Every day is infused with your mission and the goals that will help you achieve it.
Sharks keep you challenged. Many people are mistrustful, even frightened, of new ideas. They buck at the idea that something will be challenging. But as leaders and innovators, we welcome challenges as the way to our greatest achievements.
Sharks won’t let you quit. Leaders are called to be tenacious. Cowards never start, the weak don’t finish, and leaders never quit. The right challenges and engagement won’t leave you any room to even think about it.
Sharks keep you on the move. As with the fish, a stagnant existence comes with bad side effects. Leadership favors those who are on the move, those who take action, those who come up with creative solutions.
When you least expect it, life may send you a challenge to test your courage, the best leaders, the most successful people, learn the up side of swimming with the sharks, they are ready.
Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by your challenges; instead, view them with a fresh, challenging mind and discover what you can learn from them, because you usually face your greatest opposition when you’re closest to your biggest innovation.
Lead From Within: Life is about keeping us fresh It’s about being bold and staying ahead of the sharks. Because being challenged in life is inevitable, but defeat is not.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.