THE DEAD HORSE THEORY
Let’s assume you are riding a horse. Sadly, the horse dies. Common sense dictates that you dismount it. Sadly but true, this is not what happens. A lot of people will harbor the hope that the horse can kick back to life. The erroneous belief is that the horse is only experiencing temporary trauma and will soon get back to life and need to be helped to get back in line and life. Thus the dead horse theory.
In life, we are sometimes faced with situation(s) when we discover that we are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount it. However, throughout history, and still happening in our contemporary world, we see businesses; education and government take more “advanced and sentimental strategies” to nurture a dead horse back to life. This nurture comes in various shapes and shades, such as:
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Threatening the horse with termination.
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.
6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
7. Re-classifying the dead horse as ‘living impaired’.
8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.
10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
12. Declaring that the dead horse doesn’t have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
13. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.
14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position of hiring another horse.
The dead horse as it were is anything or scenario that limit or inhibit us from getting to our desired destination or prevents us from reaching our full potential both in our personal life and career.
Our dead horse may include procrastination, lack of effective and efficient execution, poor time management, disloyalty, nonchalant attitude towards work, toxic behavior at work place and at home, lack of personal and professional development, lack of quality time with our family and love ones amongst others.
As the year runs to an end, it is yet another opportunity to take a look at the issues constituting dead horse in our life and indeed, every facets of our existence.
The idea will be to dismount every dead horse, and seek alternative routes that will give us motion and traction. These may cause pains and discomfort in the short to medium term. However, our focus should be on the long term benefits accruable.
So, as year 2020 rolls in, let us dismount every dead horse of our lives.