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FELIX THE FLYING FROG:
A PARABLE ABOUT SCHEDULES, CYCLE TIMES, AND SHAPING NEW BEHAVIORS.
Once upon a time, there lived a man named Clarence who had a pet
frog named Felix. Clarence lived a modestly comfortable
existence on what he earned working at the Wal-Mart, but he
always dreamed of being rich.
"Felix!" he exclaimed one day, "We're going to be rich! I'm going
to teach you how to fly!"
Felix, of course, was terrified at the prospect: "I can't fly,
you idiot! I'm a frog, not a canary!"
Clarence, disappointed at the initial reaction, told Felix:
"That negative attitude of yours could be a real problem.
I'm sending you to class."
So Felix went to a three day class and learned about problem
solving, time management, and effective communication....
but nothing about flying.
On the first day of "flying lessons", Clarence could barely
control his excitement (and Felix could barely control
his bladder). Clarence explained that their apartment
had 15 floors, and each day Felix would jump out of a windo
starting with the first floor eventually getting to
the top floor.
After each jump, Felix would analyze how well he flew,
isolate on the most effective flying techniques, and
implement the improved process for the next flight.
By the time they reached the top floor, Felix would
surely be able to fly.
Felix pleaded for his life, but it fell on deaf ears.
"He just doesn't understand how important this is..."
thought Clarence, "but I won't let nay-sayers get in my way."
So, with that, Clarence opened the window and threw
Felix out (who landed with a thud).
Next day (poised for his second flying lesson) Felix again
begged not to be thrown out of the window. With that,
Clarence opened his pocket guide to Managing More
Effectively and showed Felix the part about how one
must always expect resistance when implementing new programs.
And with that, he threw Felix out the window.(THUD)
On the third day (at the third floor) Felix tried a
different ploy: stalling, he asked for a delay in the "project"
until better weather would make flying conditions more favorable.
But Clarence was ready for him: he produced a timeline and
pointed to thethird milestone and asked, "You don't want to
slip the schedule do you?"
>From his training, Felix knew that not jumping today would
mean that he would have to jump TWICE tomorrow.... so he just
said: "OK. Let's go." And out the window he went.
Now this is not to say that Felix wasn't trying his best.
On the fifth day he flapped his feet madly in a vain attempt to fly.
On the sixth day he tied a small red cape around his neck and
tried to think "Superman" thoughts.
But try as he might, he couldn't fly.
By the seventh day, Felix (accepting his fate) no longer begged
for mercy.... he simply looked at Clarence and said: "You know
you're killing me, don't you?"
Clarence pointed out that Felix's performance so far had been
less than exemplary, failing to meet any of the milestone goals
he had set for him.
With that, Felix said quietly: "Shut up and open the window,"
and he leaped out, taking careful aim on the large jagged rock
by the corner of the building.
And Felix went to that great lily pad in the sky.
Clarence was extremely upset, as his project had failed to meet
a single goal that he set out to accomplish. Felix had not only
failed to fly, he didn't even learn how to steer his flight as
he fell like a sack of cement.... nor did he improve his productivity
when Clarence had told him to "Fall smarter, not harder."
The only thing left for Clarence to do was to analyze the
process and try to determine where it had gone wrong.
After much thought, Clarence smiled and said:
"Next time...... I'm getting a smarter frog!"