Fist in a Bucket

I don't really remember when but at one of my places of employment I must have been contemplating some job change or something. When it became known I was given this advice.

Put your fist in a bucket of water and take it out after the water settles down see any difference? The object of this hypothetical exercise was to demonstrate that individuals are not indispensable; that we don't matter separately; that somehow we must be a part of a larger unit to really matter. Other than the fact that this exercise is rather pointless and silly (as is much of business philosophy) in most of my experiences the consequences have been just the opposite.

When I left a growing company in Mississippi and came to Texas I returned about 6 months later to find that the company had moved to a smaller building and from that (then boarded up) building they went out of business.

When I was fired from a local company here I discovered later that they had lost their biggest and best customer and one-third to one-half of their business in less than a month after my departure. It was a business that I helped build with my skills and interest over several years.

There are other stories that are a little less dramatic but I'm convinced that unlike the demonstration I do matter. I make a positive contribution when I'm present; and it seems a negative one when I'm absent.

No I don't focus on myself. I prefer to keep quiet and instead focus on what I do in my job. I think that is the key. When the time came they would begin to realize that I did a lot more than they thought or that I would be more difficult to replace than initially anticipated.

It is true that there are some that make themselves out to be something great. And people believe it. But when they are gone they aren't really missed. In those cases they really didn't make that much of a difference like hot air evaporated into space. Proverbs instructs "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards."

It's not the volume of words that really matters. It's the significance of what is being said. If there is some substance in what you say or do your fist will be missed.

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