Seth Godin’s bullfrog in a china shop – and other animal stories

by Sam Lightstone

in Careers

Sam Lightstone

Sam Lightstone

Distinguished Engineer at IBM
BIO: Sam Lightstone is Distinguished Engineer for relational Cloud Data repositories as well as co-founder of IBM's technology incubation initiative.He is author or several books, papers, and patents on computer science, careers, and data engineering.
Sam Lightstone

Seth Godin blogged recently about being a “bullfrog in a china shop”. Man, I like Seth. He has a nack for nailing things. Here’s what he had to say about bullfrogs in a china shop:

“They make a lot of noise but don’t break anything. They’re annoying but not dangerous. They create a swirl but no impact. They don’t ship.”

The analogy is, of course, a play off the more common phrase “bull in a china shop”. Using Seth’s linguistic meter, the proverbial bull can be similarly described:

“They make a lot of noise. They break everything. They are both annoying and dangerous. They create both swirl and destruction. They don’t ship.”

If we can be neither bull nor bullfrog… what should we be?

Moving out of the china shop paradigmn, I’m going to leave it to beaver. Beavers are great (and grace the back of the Canadian nickel too).

Why be a beaver?

“They make very little noise, and create a lot. They are neither dangerous nor annoying. They create positive swirl with high impact. They always deliver.”

Not only that… beavers take initiative, collaborate, and communicate. They follow a project plan.

Be a beaver. (and stay far away from china shops)

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