Hey, where’s my ball…?

In training, not only do analogies help us to undestand better, they also help us to remember the details associated with it; possibly also able to apply what we learn. Let me tell you of this interesting analogy which I formulate just that morning while attending a review session with our big boss, CEO.  By the way, this analogy will lead us to understand learn elements of life skills – that of being able to accept sudden change, in terms of directions and maybe even career shifts.

We were playing happily basketball in Court A. It was sort-of a very used court, but we could still play on it, happily.  Along came this ‘big’ guy.  He took our ball (whether he snatched it or we threw it to him, it doesn’t really matter at this stage), and threw it out of the court, kind-of suddenly.  We were shocked, and we were trying to understand why he did that.  Along came another guy, a tall one if I have to describe him.  He managed to catch the ball as it was being thrown out.  Then he brought it into another court, and asked us to play in that court instead. the ‘big’ guy did not really disagree, though. It’s like a wait-and-see attitude that he adopted.

Now, what does the above analogy of the basketball game mean?  Let me explain…

We were having a review meeting on the progress of a project with our big boss (now, you know who the ‘big’ guy was, ya?). He was quietly listening to the presentation in the first ten minutes as my friend flipped from one slide to the next, while at the same time, explaining the findings, the challenges and think-ahead plans.  Then, without preparing us for it, he suddenly started ‘tearing apart’ our think-ahead plans.  You see, he actually threw our ball out of the court.  I had to say he was very analytical and knowledgable as he questioned us on why we were contemplating on some of those plans, which did not seem logical to him.  He counter-suggested (based on our findings and learnings) the plans we made.  On hindisght, I could not help but felt that his counter arguments made alot of sense.  We were engrossed in the project, and we definitely needed a fresh perspective, new ideas.  One more thing, a CEO, or a big boss for that matter, will always have a different set of ideas from what his subordinates have been conceptualising. not that it’s his job to do that; but, having risen to that level, somehow, they are endowed with those extra wisdom.

Well, to continue the story, our VP was more practical. He gave us a set of value propositions, and fresh ideas on how to run the project.  His ideas definitely helped.  You see, he caught the ball, and brought it to another court, and told us to play it there.  Well, the CEO thought for a while, and said that we could try.  He would expect another final review session to see what are our ‘hopeful’ final plans.

Back to the analogy, we went to the court where the ball was then placed.  We had to decide whether to play the ball in the new court, or take it back to the old court and continued playing there.  Well, in the final review, we will have to tell him which court we would be playing.  What do you think? Play in the new court, or back to the old court? Or maybe even find another court altogether.  What’s good for a career move?

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