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Published:September 8th, 2008 18:52 EST
Struggles Make You Stronger

Struggles Make You Stronger

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

As a business manager, I often wonder how much rope to give my team. I was at breakfast with someone today who gives his team so much rope that he has hardly any idea about what is going on in his own company. In my opinion, his way is not management. It is neglect. But my focus is on the other end of the spectrum. The side that can border on hovering or as they said in a recent movie, helicoptering!

Besides applications of this question at work, I have a daughter heading off to college this week. How much rope should we give her? How much help should we offer to provide? It is a fine line with dramatic outcomes regardless of which path you take. Too much help and the child (or Team Member) grows weak. Too little support and they might drown in a world that is cruel and harsh.

Each of us has to find our own answer to this age old question, but clearly nature has its own way of sorting out the issues as demonstrated by the following little story. This story is of unknown origin and it has been around for a long time.

"The Butterfly`s Struggle"

A man was walking in the park one day when he came upon a cocoon with a small opening. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It looked like it had gotten as far as it could, so the man decided to help the butterfly. He used his pocketknife and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily, but something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to emerge was natural. It was nature`s way of forcing fluid from its body into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.

If we were allowed to go through life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly.

History has shown us that the most celebrated winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit www.joelblock.com  or www.growth-logic.com. Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship - http://www.entrepreneur-hub.com.  And finally, for film makers: http://www.filmfundingblog.com  - our newest project.