Would you put a shark in a tuna’s tank?

“Japan is a major producer of tuna. Some time ago, fishermen noticed they had to go further from the shore to catch better fish as demand was overflowing. Therefore, they thought to build farms where they could breed those fish and catch them when they are ready for consuming. However, its taste was different, it was worse. The reason was that tuna lived comfortably and growing significantly fat. To solve this issue, fishermen thought to put a shark in the tank to make tuna swim faster. Obviously, they knew many tunas were going to be killed but it would compensate with a better taste. And so they did. They accomplished their purpose, tuna tasted the same as open water’s. Tension of living with a shark made tuna stay alert and grow healthier”.

original-shark-picThis metaphor could be easily applied to business and group development (Tuckman). Sometimes, it’s good to have someone who makes others stay alert and do their job. Pressure can lead to better results but it could be very dangerous as well. ‘Sharks’ could become confident and kill all the ‘tunas’, so shark’s hunger should be controlled.

From my point of view, at present we need less ‘sharks’ and better leaders. Leaders who make others live comfortably and do their job the best they can because they understand it’s what they have to do. Leaders who don’t pressure agressively others but know how to motivate them. Leaders who understand how to transform a ‘don’t want attitude’ into a ‘want attitude’. Leaders who are not afraid to answer many questions instead of complaining of the stupidity of them.

In the end, remember that good ‘tunas’ are not so common nowadays, so it’s important to esteem and respect them. ‘Sharks’ behaviour is obsolete and old-fashioned. Period.

Antonio González
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