There’s Something About That Dog

How Far Can You See? 

A coworker told me a great story that illustrates the Critical Doer philosophical question of “how far can you see?”  Remember, no person or organization can go any further than you can see.  The following story makes the point.

A hunter has a very special dog used for retrieving ducks while duck hunting.  The hunter takes a friend along to watch the dog at work.  The hunter shoots the first duck and the dog walks…walks…across the water to retrieve the duck.  Another duck flies by, the hunter fires, the dog walks across the water again to retrieve the duck.  Thus far there is no reaction from the hunter’s friend.  The hunter was expecting some reaction of amazement at the sight of a dog walking across water so the hunter asked “what do you think of my dog?”  The friend dryly replied “your dog can’t swim.”

Unbelievable…the friend had such a critical and conventional view that the sight of a dog walking on water went unnoticed for the negative perception that the dog couldn’t swim!

We tend to find whatever we’re looking to find.  If we’re constantly looking for what’s wrong, we normally find it. If we’re looking for the positive, we normally find positive.  It’s important to stress that a keeping a positive outlook is important to having a sense of resilience to overcome obstacles, succeed where others quit, and find opportunities others can’t see for a competitive advantage.

To perform at the level of a Critical Doer, let me suggest that maximizing your performance comes from a vision of truth.  A positive outlook as a matter of expectation is important, but critical thinking that reveals truth is equally important in turning your own expectations into reality.

Your challenge is to learn from the hunter’s friend who had an outlook so negative it clouded the vision of seeing something amazing.  Expect the best, but know that critical thinking increases the breadth of your vision through looking at situations from numerous perspectives.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: November 1, 2015 — 9:15 pm

1 Comment

  1. Awesome! Reinforces a very important point.

    We tend to “notice” that which we are tuned in to pay attention to. All else, however great, is likely to be overlooked — just because we were not looking for it.

    In my line of work — I get paid to notice a lot — and then to relate ideas together given a very broad perspective.

    The challenge for me is to separate the interesting but not relevant and the relevant but not true and from that which is relevant and true.

    That process is only enabled by critically thinking about the issues. I can assure you that those who own the relevant but not true are wedded to their beliefs. In a similar way — those who own the interesting but not relevant are convinced that those ideas are the central point. Winning those debates can only be accomplished by thinking critically across broad concepts and then acting — putting together a coherent argument that carries the day.

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