You’ve got experience and skills. You are a new boss or been tasked to lead a new division. You’ve got all the answers and now is your chance to change everything that is wrong and make it work. You are here to save the day!
Wait, what’s wrong with this thinking?
Well, somehow it all existed and worked in some way before you got there…at least to some extent. So, have you found out what already works? What doesn’t work? Taken some time to question your own assumptions?
Let’s take a few minutes to learn some insights provided to us by a cat that has been around a very long time. A cat that has a hat and …often causes a ruckus before he realizes there is another way.
Episode 37 Show Notes
- Book – The Cat in the Hat
- Book – The Cat in the Hat comes back
- Shout out to Dr. Judith Bayliss that casually mentioned how brilliant Dr. Suess was in a meeting one day a few years ago. It changed the way I read his books forever!
Episode 37 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 37 Boss Antics – Saving the Day
This Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out on do it. Are you ready to move your desk?
Right now in life, I’m being exposed to the PJ masks, which are a trio of three Children, two boys and one girl who imagine that they’re pajamas at night, turned them into superheroes where they go into the night to save the day. And there are, of course, villains that are always messing with things like taking school playground toys or stealing relics from the museum.
And these superheroes help return those by the next morning. And then, of course, they wake up and they go to school. And they’re just regular kids who are on the lookout to solve problems, right? So they go into the night to save the day. And so I hear this phrase saving the day all the time, and it reminds me of some of the approaches I’ve seen bosses take at the highest levels of leadership down Thio someone that’s maybe supervising two people, and I’ve seen this even with people that aren’t supervising anyone that air trying to influence in some way.
So you see this in the workplace. But you can also see this in entrepreneurs or influencers that are out there and trying to become this person that saves things, saves us from our own problems or issues and, you know, without their help, where would we be? I kind of think, And the idea has especially gotten stronger to me over this last year. So every time I read a certain book and when I was younger, I remember reading the original. It’s by Dr Seuss and it’s the cat in the Hat.
But somehow I just barely got the cat in the hat. But I have had the cat in the hat comes back for a while, and every time I read it, I think of these past experiences I had at work that almost seemed surreal because it was as if we hadn’t been able to function before someone came on. And then when they came on board at work, suddenly you know, they were going to save us from all of our mistakes and show us how we did not know anything, and that’s why things were falling apart and they were going to help put it back together.
And we had all kind of sit there thinking, Will you just walked in the door? How do you even know what’s broken? How do you even know what needs to be fixed? And sometimes the people had the opinion because they worked in a different part of the organization, and they perceived what our division was doing in a certain way. Well, of course, that kind of lends itself to the analogy of the elephant right. The person might have been on the tail or on a foot, and they didn’t realize there’s this whole Elefant.
And so they see the perspective of just one part of the elephant and to describe how this works more fully. I want to kind of go through this book a little bit, and if you are a leader or a boss, pay special attention because I think it’s very easy to get caught in this kind of thinking and completely disregard the people that have been doing the hard work every day. Now the people that are doing the hard work every day aren’t perfect, but they are aware of the nuances of certain activities and projects that are going on.
And so if you ask more questions and take time to figure out what’s going on, you’ll often find that they may be doing something a certain way because of a ripple effect that occurs somewhere else in the organization. They might be doing it because of something in the past that has now changed, and that’s a chance for you to take a look at that with them and go, Let’s revisit this now. But walking in and saying this isn’t right Let’s completely revamp is something that most of the time needs to be done very carefully and very thoughtfully.
Otherwise, you won’t even have the buy in to make the changes you want to make. So the cat in the Hat comes back is a Dr Seuss book and its intended to follow on Or, I guess, start with some assumptions that you’ve seen the cat in the hat before because there’s two Children that are shoveling the snow because it’s an assignment their mother has given them. While she’s left the house for a little while and So they’ve got work to do and they’re staying busy and they’re focused on their task and they’re doing a great job.
And suddenly the cat in the hat comes back now. He came to their home before in the original book, The Cat in the Hat, and they were bored that day on a rainy day when their mother went to the store at that time and that rainy day they came in, messed things up, and then they cleaned it up and they left. They being the cat in the hat and his little helpers thing one and thing, too. They did not proclaim anything, but this time around, the cat in the hat comes marching up, and the little girl Sally’s like, Oh, don’t talk to that cat.
That cat is a bad one. That cat in the hat, he plays lots of bad tricks. Don’t you let him come in here. You know what he did the last time he was here so she doesn’t want to go through that again. However non boring, it made his last appearance. It was also very stressful at the same time, So the cat just laughs and he’s like up play tricks. You? No, no, no, no. I just want to go in and get out of the snow. And he tells them to keep minding their work, and he just will go in the house and do something.
Well, he goes in so quickly, they can’t even do anything right. So the little boy is the older brother and he finds him eating cake in the tub and the, you know, the cat sitting there. He’s just has the water going full blast. He’s eating a piece of cake. He’s just in heaven having fun, and then the boy gets mad. And if you remember the first book, it’s the fish in the fish bowl that’s doing all the talking. The kids are just standing there and, ah, but this time the boys taking charge does not want to go through this again.
And so he basically shuts off the water and lets the water out. Well, then there’s this pink cat ring in the tub and the boys stressing about it going, How are we going to get this off? And this starts off the cat in the hat, going through a long slew of actions where It’s like, Oh, that’s fine And he pulls the mother’s white dress and he puts the pink on the dress, and then that’s not fine with the boys. So then he goes, and he puts it on the wall, and then after he puts on the wall, he takes it off of the shoe and then they put it on the carpet.
They take the carpet that has pink on it throughout the house, and then they put it on the bed. Now, at this point, little boys just sick of this and he’s like, This is not This is not working out, and then at this point also, the cat in the hat is discouraged because he’s like, Ah, taking spots off this bed will be hard, said the cat. I can’t do it alone, said the cat in the hat. This cat in the hat has invited himself into the house, made himself a home, creates a mess, then decides on all these haphazard solutions to move around this pink spot, and then he gets to a point where easily I cannot do this alone.
But of course, he saves the day like he always does, and luckily in his hat. He has little cat, eh? Who’s going to help him? And then little cat a has another cat in his hat. That’s little cat B, and it pretty much you go. You can see that this is going through the alphabet and these little cats are smaller and smaller, but they come out to help, and essentially what they end up doing is making sure the pink gets out of the house and the pink spot is put into the snow.
What I think is interesting is at this point, you know, the little boy and girl should be kind of happy, right? This pink spots out of their house. Yes, it’s made all this snow pink in the surrounding areas, but it’s out of their house. So technically they could stop worrying about it that they’re carrying little people and they’re like, Yeah, you blew it out of the house. That’s true. But now you made snow spots and you can’t let them stay. And so the little cats think about that, and they keep popping off their hats, and there’s even more cats to help them.
So this team has gotten exponentially larger to address a problem that was not even a problem in the first place. The cat in the hat created new problems that weren’t there, and now he has to engage a whole team of cats to assist in rectifying this problem. Who, of course, in the process of assisting all these little cats go out in the snow? And they have these little snow guns, I guess, Or pop guns. They’re called and they’re going around popping around the pink snow. While all of this does is creating Maur and Maur pink snow, it’s not reducing the pink, and they’re very playful on their batting, the snow around and they’re making snowmen.
And they’re they’re just moving all this pink, snow around wealthy end of day that makes everything pink. So there’s no white snow left and we’ve gone through all the cats all the way up to X and y. So there’s lots of people or cats I should say, engaged in this effort. And remember, there was not a problem at first. Now we know we always there’s always some kind of problem, but knows this was self created, right? And then suddenly the cat in the hat pulls out little Cat Z and you cannot see Z but apparently has this special room.
It’s called V R O M, and it’s really hard to get Voom and you’ve never seen it, but it can clean up anything. And so he takes little cat z out and he applies voom, and suddenly we see that all the pink is taken away. The sidewalks are completely cleared of snow, so at least you know, with all the helpers they got the main tasked on which was to clear the sidewalks of snow and the house is all clean. All the spots are gone, and the cat in the hat says that if you ever have spots now and then, I will be very happy to come here again with little cats.
A, B, C, D E, f G, h i, J, K, L, M and O P and Q R S T and Kat you and Cat V and little cats, W X, Y and Z. Now there are lots of different ways to look at this story, but what’s interesting is at the beginning, I guess I shouldn’t have said there was no problem. There was only one problem being worked and that is there snow on the sidewalks. Mom did not want snow on the sidewalks. She engaged to somebody’s and the somebody’s were Sally and me, which I don’t know what the boy’s name is.
But those two had to clear the sidewalk before their mother came home. Enters this person that’s going to save the day. Who in this case is cat in the Hat comes in, decides he’s ultimately and charge of something in this house and situates himself very well to make it a pleasurable experience and unwittingly creates more problems, which then created more problems and more problems. And then he gets to a point, really realizes, Oh, I cannot do this alone. Let me call out to some new team members is he didn’t engage the boy and girl, right?
He reached out to some new people, and an endless stream of cats filling the alphabet are engaged to clean up the mess in the process. They first make a lot more messes, but they look extremely busy and in some ways productive, right cause they’re making snowmen and there, treating more pink snow, none of which was requested or desired, and Then at the end of it all, we find out that the most important cat in all of this is this little cat we can’t even see. And it has this substance called room that immediately cleans up the white snow.
And make sure that the sidewalks are clear now is the book states. I don’t know what room is, but it’s a powerful thing. That’s something that all of us can try to figure out for our organizations or families or whatever group were working within is what is the room, really? And why do we need all of these other cats making more messes if a room is what takes care of it all? And would the little boy and girl have been fine? If there is no cat in the hat introduced in ove room at all?
Were they okay? Just with a little extra hard work finishing the sidewalk while we never will know. Hi, but I think these stories can teach us a lot in the leadership and management realm that we may have lots of skills and experience and background. But when we enter a situation, we have to be aware that everyone in that situation has experienced skills and background, they might not have the right background for what needs to be done at hand. But making a bunch of assumptions upfront and changing everything and taking too swift action can sometimes backfire, mess everything up and require a lot of extra resource is and personnel to clean up when maybe just taking a little time up front to ask some more questions and not honor our assumptions would help us take swifter action, more thoughtful action and maintain trust with those that we have to work with or that work for in behalf of us.
I would be interested in knowing what you think Room is for your particular work. Is it a persuasive personality? Is it creating a culture that accepts mistakes and learning and growth? Is it a leader that’s endearing in some way? Or that supports people as they experiment and have new ideas? Or is it something else is room the personal motivation that we bring to our work? And I I love what the book says about it, cause it doesn’t really tell us what it is either, but it shows that whatever of room is lives in that space that is not physical, that we feel and two quoted it says then the voom it went boom and oh, boy would’ve voom.
Now don’t ask me what boom is. I never will know. But, boy, let me tell you, it does cleanups. No, I think they’re lessons for leaders and bosses in this and quite frankly, any human being that enters another experience with judgment, because we may not yet understand why something is done a certain way, and we can at least take a moment to honor the people that have been there and involved by asking them and finding out a little bit more. And if that is done up front, then they just might be there to help you with whatever you think you’re there to save the day with, have a great day, do great work and spent some time figuring out what room is and let me know.
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