Monday, 15 June 2015


Living life on the Upside …

Literally, I am … sitting high up on Grassy Hill, Cooktown in Far North Queensland; feeling the strength of the wind, energy of the water below, and warmth of the late arvo sun setting after refreshing rain.  Sounds ideal? Sounds like a great place for positive thinking … simply walking around with that oblivious smile and a lay-back ‘she’ll be right’ attitude?  Yeah … pretty much … except for the CROCs!!

Up here, it pays to be very aware, to be diligent, and make good decisions regarding CROC territory.  Cooktown is built around the mouth of the Endeavour River, fringed by mangroves, well inhabited by CROCs. A good dose of situational awareness and a regular reality check is crucial, when planning outdoor activities near water ways, creeks and ocean bays. 

So, while I was thinking about dealing with CROCs, it hit me that it’s no big deal … I’ve dealt with CROCs before; quite recently in fact. Dealing with them is just a reality check of options:  
  • Some things you can change; 
  • Some things you can ignore or work around; and 
  • Sometimes you just need to make wise alternative choices and take a different track.
You see … CROCs are everywhere. The four legged reptiles with their territorial prowling and jaws of death grip, and the two legged human variety with interestingly – such similarity.  How so? … well:

1. You can’t change CROCs behaviour; it's entrenched survival tactics that serve him well … he has no will or need to change. It’s not wise to try to befriend them, or think you could ever trust them. They will always be aggressive, territorial creatures who don’t give a hoot about your values, your goals or your feelings.  Yes, there are people like that too – Mr CROCs with entrenched bully-boy behaviours that rule by control, threats, and revel in belittling others to stamp their own positional power. While he could choose to change his behaviour, he has no will to change that which continues to fuel his own ego.

2. CROCs choose to live in remote, less populated areas; in mangroves and swamps, lurking in shadows, just under the waterline; anywhere relatively hidden and out of hunters sights. As a protective species, they have enjoyed growth in numbers and size in these parts.  Interestingly, I’ve noticed that human Mr CROCs survival and accelerated career progression also often occurs in more remote, less populated areas;  away from higher expectations and robust performance reviews; where they seemingly can get away with being king of their county despite their undesirable behaviour.

3. Sometimes CROCs become a real nuisance; ruthlessly aggressive, bumping against small boats, hanging around others jetties, and over- exerting their territorial powers. Yeah, you got it … just like some human Mr CROCs too; this problem negatively impacts on community well-being, attractiveness, growth, general living standards, and the overall attitude or culture of the community or organisation.

The solution for reptiles like this is to remove them; capture and move them away from the area. Repeat offenders are culled.  So, what I don’t understand is why the solution is not as simple for human Mr CROCs!  
~ Why do some communities and organisations put up with unacceptable, predatory, power driven behaviour for so long; seemingly powerless to make the decision to just remove the problem(s)?
~ How many people must it negatively impact before action is taken? 
~ How many times should Mr CROC get away with aggressive bullying behaviour, in how many regional swamps, before a more permanent decision is implemented?

Choosing to live on the upside … is not about putting a fake smile on your face as you slide into the murky water, thinking positively, sucking it up and hoping for the best!  Sometimes you need to step up onto higher ground, take a stand for what’s right, and make decisions that are good for the greater good.

If you have a Mr CROC, I urge you to DECIDE->COMMIT->ACTION the change that’s needed for your own survival, and that of your community.

Choose to live life on the upside … the higher moral ground; where the wind fuels your strength, energy and momentum … well away from the murky water lurkers.   

Jilinda Lee
Change Champion Coach
[Published in 'THE BRIDGE' Newspaper - 25 June 2015]

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