The Crab Pot

It’s been interesting to watch the rise and fall of various candidates in Iowa this Fall. One candidate will soar in the polls only to be attacked by the other candidates and the media who pull the leader down. It reminds me of ‘the crab pot’ – a phenomenon I learned about from the superintendent of a large urban school district. When crabs are collected and put into a bucket, they climb all over each other. Eventually the pile of crabs grows up the inside of the bucket so that the top crab can crawl over the top and escape. But the other crabs invariably reach up and pull that top crab down, and the cycle continue, it’s normal in a political campaign, but when it happens within a company, it’s dysfunctional. While some internal competition can be productive, you need to ensure that your people, especially your top management team, are collaborative, supportive, and on the same page regarding your business strategy and priorities.

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