What are Trappers famous for?

zur deutschen VersionYou might have asked yourself already, why I selected “TrapperPhD” as my online nickname?

The story behind TrapperPhD …

To make a long story short … during my university time my nickname was “Trapper” (honestly spoken, one out of a couple). And after finishing my doctorate, “Trapper PhD” was a logical consecutive consequence … but also a tribute to “Trapper John, M.D.”, a famous TV series in the 80s of the last century (when I grew up, “those times long ago”).

Last not least, I like this name because I like the qualities, trappers stand for.

What trappers are famous for …

  • they are successfully using and sharing knowledge of at least two worlds
  • they make the best of slender resources and possibilities
  • they are pragmatic and often need to flexibly adapt to changing conditions
  • they are real businessmen (entrepreneurs) not just managers
  • they start well-founded changes only
  • they are lean for good reasons
  • they are results-driven
  • they do not give up, but also know when to stop … for them vitality management is essential
  • they are palmy in operating independent as well as part of a team
  • they love nature (OK, they have no choice, but take it as a romantic presumption)
  • they can make fire without an iPone app
  • they can communicate without a Blackberry
  • they make it to stay in touch with friends over great distances … without Facebook
  • they depend on optimism
  • and … for them, results are more important than good looking

Be a Fish!

A couple of days ago, I had lunch with a colleague, and we once again reflected on the question why big companies work internally like they just do. That one might get the impression of a stone field, where the stones are obvious to everybody … but are not moved away by anybody.

But perhaps this is basically the wrong attitude.

Later the picture of a fish leaped into my mind. A fish who moves through wild and troubled whitewater. People like us would probably say: well, let’s take out the stones first. This will calm the water and make our way easier. But the fish … gets ahead without difficulties and without our strategic approach. And finally reaches his goal even against the stream. On top of that, he most likely reaches the goal more efficiently and faster as if he would have waited for the calming of the river.

He just swims.

He does not moan about the troubled water and that this was caused by the last reorganization. He is not annoyed at the “not well elaborated structure” of the river. He does not stop in front of each stone philosophizing if this particular rock is at its right place or how this could be changed.

He just swims … around the stone, passing underneath, passing over, or perhaps sometimes vaulting it. But always with a smile. And finally reaching his goal.

I also resolved to be more like a fish in the future. Not to wait for big changes and ideal conditions. Not to be annoyed at wrong corporate structures and management decisions. But just to lead the way every single day, by using existing possibilities and opportunities, to bring things forward. Not to moan about the drawbacks of actual conditions, but to use their odds. Not to wait for the big changes and improvements, but to take the small steps. And to never lose sight of the virtual goal. Because the stones are neither the goal nor the mission …

Addendum: One saying should not be missed in that context: “Only dead fish swim with the stream!” Well, in fact this is not completely true. Fish always swim to where the food is. And they actually do not really mind if they have to swim with or against the stream to reach it. But this should now be enough of animal allegories … 😉