Frog in a Rut . . .

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.
– Henry Ford

Once upon a time there was a little frog hopping through the forest when he came upon a muddy logging road.  It rained heavily in the forest and the road had deep ruts created by the frequent logging trucks that travelled from the forest to the saw mills.  As the little frog jumped across the road he realised, too late, that the ruts were wider than his leap and he landed at the bottom of one of the ruts.  The frog was small and the rut deep and hard as he tried he couldn’t jump out.

He them hopped a long distance in both directions, only to discover that the rut was endless (much like most ruts we find ourselves in).  He sighed, sat down and gave up.  “Stuck in a rut”, he muttered to himself.

Just then a big Bull Frog came hopping along and noticed the little frog at the bottom of the rut. “What you doing down there, little frog?”

“Stuck in a rut.  I can’t get out.”

“Well, sorry but I can’t help you.  I’m on my way to the pond to catch some flies and squeeze me some girl frogs.” And the Bull Frog hopped away.

A little while later while the big Bull Frog was sunning himself on a rock at the edge of the pond when the little frog hopped up next to him. “I thought you were stuck in a rut,” said the Bull Frog.

“I was,” quipped the little frog.

“I thought you couldn’t get out.”

“I couldn’t,” replied the little frog, grinning and catching a fly with his tongue.

“So? What happened?” the Bull Frog asked.

“Well, I had to get out, a logging truck was coming!”

It’s amazing what we can do when we decide it’s important!  Every time I work with a senior team during a turnaround or the development of a new strategy I am reminded of the little frog.  Results are really about choice.  Do we want the result bad enough or do we find enjoyment and comfort in complaining?

My tutor used to say there are either REASONS or RESULTS.  And it all begins with a choice.

“Most leaders have no idea of the giant capacity for performance they can immediately command when they focus all their organization’s resources and attention on a few key breakthrough objectives.”

If you don’t like your results, make different choices.

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

E |      T | +44 207 584 3774      M | +44 7833 493 999

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
This entry was posted in consulting, leadership, Personal Development, strategy execution and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Frog in a Rut . . .

  1. Hi John. I like this story. I’m going to link to it in The Career Bible blog next week if that’s OK with you? I was looking for a nice story about redundancy being an opportunity and then ‘Frog in a rut’ jumped out at me (couldn’t resist the pun). Thank you. Matthew


  2. Pingback: Redundancy is an opportunity not a threat | The Career Bible

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s