At some point in my life I had a boss that would promise me heavens and clouds on what was in store for me at that job. He made it sound so sweet and real that I had started living it before even getting there. However, the situation at work never got better. All we did was write strategic plans -full of visions, goals and dreams – after another, yet there was no action being put in place to achieve these goals.
The dangling carrot
One day I found myself complaining to a friend of how miserable I was at work and how my boss had been giving me all these promises. This not being the first time I was complaining to him he asked me, “ Are you sure it is not a dangling carrot?”
This put me into deep thought. Of course I didn’t quit immediately, but soon the picture started forming on my mind. My boss liked my talent and he knew that the moment I realised I was stuck in a rut and there were no bigger things for me I’d walk. That’s why he dangled the delicious carrot in front of me. If you are as ambitious as I am, you realise that being in a routine place doing the same old thing, be it in your job, business or social life, it bores the hell out of you and all you want is move on to the next challenge.
Are you hanging onto what could be?
Are you stuck in the same job or position – that you probably don’t like – because of the promises you have been given? You have your eyes on that big promotion you have been promised since time immemorial but you don’t seem to be getting there. You are becoming more and more miserable but the damn juicy delicious carrot is right in front of you and you have to take a bite at it.
While this might not be the case always, it could be your boss is seducing you with a dangling carrot. The funny part is that bosses are so seductive that your eyes can see nothing else but the damn carrot. They make it seem so real you find yourself thinking, ‘just this one year and I shall bite it’.
It’s high time you have a reality check. Go over the situation with a sober mind and think about how viable the promise is.
Get a reality check
You can involve a friend or someone who can give you a reality check; someone whose opinion you trust and see what they have to say. While in some cases the promotion promise could be real, in others, you could be in a better place where you are getting more appreciation, be it at your own business or a different job.
Are you chasing a dangling carrot? I would love to hear about it, drop your comment below and lets share.
Adam Grant, in his book Originals, How non-conformists move the world, discusses how some bosses surround themselves with ‘yes’ men because it is good for them but its not always good for the organization. He also discusses how we should not jump into entrepreneurship without calculating the risks involves. He gives real life examples of how some great entrepreneurs (Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak) among others didn’t jump into entrepreneurship that quickly.
If you feel like you have been chasing a dangling carrot and you feel you need to make the next book, I recommend this book. You can check out a summary of the key lessons from the book Originals, on Blinkist.