Develop The Situation

By: Steve Leland

In the book that I referenced previously, The Mission, The Men, And Me by Pete Blaber, he had another concept that struck me hard. He had a chapter about how the U. S. intelligence community totally ignored the possibility of infiltrating known terrorist havens, seemingly because of how hard it would be to do. Pete then tells us the story of an American fella that chose to join them and successfully, situation by situation, worked his way so deeply into the system that he actually had a face-to-face meeting with Osama bin Laden. Pete’s point was that no plan would have worked; but by developing each situation as it showed up, he just kept climbing the ladder higher into the organization.

I was reminded of a time some years ago with a company that I was in. We had a guy who had the job of picking up and delivering freight. Some of the deliveries actually required two men to accomplish. Nobody told him that he would need assistance; so he simply developed each situation and successfully accomplished the task. Our opinions did not define his ability to do the job. In fact, had he known our opinion, he probably wouldn’t have been able to do what he did.

A while back I was with a friend that was staring down a seemingly impossible situation. He was very depressed because he absolutely had to take care of it, but was at a total loss about how to get it done. I asked him the old joke: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time. So we figured out the first bite, then the second bite. Within minutes we had developed the situation until the problem was solved.

Another vagrant thought that has come to mind is a scene that I first saw in an old movie. I can’t find the quote listed for when I first heard it used, (it has been used many times since) but it goes: “You can’t get there from here.”

Often that is how we approach a problem, but if we just take one bite at a time, developing the situation, we find that we can get there from here.

Sent from a secret location on the dark side of the moon.

By: Steve Leland