Catabolic vs. Anabolic Leaders – Part 8 – BigProblem or Huge Opportunity?
A company once sent two shoe salespeople to an area inAfrica where they had never sold any shoes. One was of their senior, most experienced salesmen, Tom, and theyexpected big things of him.
The other was an optimistic rookie named Cynthia. She didn’thave much experience, but she had a lot of enthusiasm. They figured she might be able to sell a fewpair of shoes.
Shortly after their arrival in Africa, Tom, the experiencedsalesperson wrote the home office saying, “You might as well bring me back.Nobody here wears shoes.”
The rookie, Cynthia, wired the home office an urgentmessage: “Send me all the shoes you’ve got. Nobody here is wearing shoes!”
You may have heard this “joke” before –but it illustrates a key difference between anabolic and catabolic leaders. Twopeople, faced with the same situation, yet having totally different reactions.What’s the difference between them? In a word, it’s energy - Tom is catabolicand Cynthia is anabolic. Catabolic people see problems and challengeseverywhere, and in everything. Anabolic people see opportunity and possibility.And not only do they see opportunity, but they take action to capitalize onit.
Most of the time, people focus onwhat’s wrong – in their lives, their businesses, the world. They complain,moan, and don’t take a lot of action – and why would they, because they justknow that there are more problems and challenges ahead. This is catabolic,destructive energy – and it surrounds us every day.
People with anabolic energy (especiallyat Level 5 and above) find opportunity in everything. They don’t see the badand make it a good; they truly only see opportunity in all that happens. Theylook at a situation and ask “what’s working here?” “What’s right?” “What’snext?” They don’t see problems or challenges, just exciting adventures andchances to make things work better.
So while a catabolic person might getupset and angry if one of his customers took his business to a competitor, ananabolic person would look at that situation as a chance not only to get thecustomer back, but to also change and improve the circumstances that led to thecustomer leaving in the first place.
As you go through your day, look atyour responses to what’s happening around you. Remember that your perceptionscreate your energy level, and that creates your reality – the world you know. Andmost importantly, remember that you can learn to choose your response and beginto shift from catabolic to anabolic energy (if you’re not already there!) Ask those solution-focused questions of “what’sright?” and “what’s next?” After all,it’s your world, and you can create it as you wish.