are you going to just talk—or are you going to fish?

“…..and it all reminded me of the story about the fisherman and the game warden. The game warden accepts an invitation to go fishing with a stranger who rows him out to the middle of the lake. As the game warden begins to fiddle with his fishing rod, he watches in horror as the stranger pulls out a stick of dynamite from his tackle box, lights it, and throws it into the lake. There’s a big explosion and a huge geyser of water. Lots of fish—whole, intact fish—flop on shore, just waiting to be scooped up. The game warden can hardly contain himself. ‘What in God’s name are you doing?!’ he says. ‘I’m a game warden, for goodness’ sake! That’s illegal! It’s dangerous! It’s …’ While the game warden is stammering away, the stranger reaches back into his tackle box, pulls out another stick of dynamite, lights it, and, this time, hands it to the game warden! “‘Just what in hell are you thinking?!’ he says, holding the dynamite with its burning fuse as far from his face as possible. ‘I can’t believe this! What am I supposed to do with this?!’ “The game warden keeps shouting and the fuse keeps burning. Finally, the stranger looks at him and says, ‘Listen, are you going to just talk—or are you going to fish?!’”

– From Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization by Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey

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