Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gatekeeper

He was a gatekeeper and there were two types of people he kept from entering his territory: Those who could make things worse and those who could make things better.

It was understandable why the first group was excluded, but barring the second group baffled many people. Why would you keep out someone who can make things better? They didn't understand. The gatekeeper has a system. It may not be the best system - that is not his concern - but it is a system that works for the gatekeeper. He knows it inside-out. He could recite its nuances in his sleep. He is very comfortable with that system.

Making things better for the gatekeeper is not seen as an improvement - it is regarded as a threat - for even an improvement disrupts the gatekeeper's system and he is a lover of stability. Those who speak to the gatekeeper about the virtues of their ideas and how much they will help the gatekeeper may as well be speaking Martian. The gatekeeper may respond with "We're in pretty good shape here" or even "Let us study that for a while." That will be a long while.

It can be difficult to spot some gatekeepers. A few have learned how to imply openness when they are really barring the doors and gatekeepers may have bosses who are also gatekeepers. The trick is to keep climbing the ladder until you find the non-gatekeeper who has a larger perspective and who may be astute enough to know that comfort can lead to stagnation.

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