Rooster Today, Feather-duster Tomorrow

I thought I would share a saying with you from my time as a CEO in local government.

“Rooster today, feather-duster tomorrow” recognises how your effectiveness is seen in different places. You are you, but somehow, as you move from job to job, or situation to situation, it either goes well or it goes horribly wrong. Sometimes too, you are indifferent and become just one of the crowd.

We all know about roosters: they generally stand out because of their plumage, are different from the crowd and strut their stuff (whatever that really means). A rooster’s tail feathers can make a wonderful looking feather-duster, though. This scenario applies regardless of your gender.

So, as the CEO at one local government, you are the rooster that can do no wrong. The Council think you are great, staff admire your leadership and the community can’t get enough of you.

Then, when you move onto another district, it all goes horribly wrong. It’s as if you have walked into a minefield. You become snowed under with an ever increasing workload. Those around you become disengaged. You quickly end up doing other people’s work. Finally, the less glamorous matters end up on your plate. In fact, you lose sight of where the organisation should be going. All in all, this is a very long winded way of saying others see you as the feather-duster!

We don’t have pink feather-dusters in our house, although my wife would love that! However, we do have the usual looking one that we use on the cobwebs 😉

My fellow CEO colleagues and I have experienced this time and time again. Sometimes, we have even gone from the rooster to a feather-duster overnight. I once had a situation where some people said to me: “You suck. The best thing about you being here is your wife, she’s a real trouper!” Now, that’s very sobering in anyone’s language, but in true half glass full fashion I said to myself I’ll take that as a win 😂

The reality is, it’s not just CEOs that share this fate. The rooster/feather-duster happens to many of us, in all walks of life. Regardless of what we are doing, or where we are at. It happens.

Then bizarrely enough, you put the disaster behind you and move onto another experience and “lo and behold,” you become the rooster once more. What is the secret to making this happen? See the marvellous quote by Les Brown below…

If you have seen some of my earlier posts, you know I have always been the first to arrive at work and set the kitchen up for the day!

Never let someone’s opinion become your realityNever sacrifice who you are because someone else has a problem with it. Love who you are inside and out.” –Les Brown.

26 Comments on “Rooster Today, Feather-duster Tomorrow”

  1. Beautiful thoughts. I suppose this speaks to presence, how each day or moment is different and we have to adjust. Love the last quote, too. The outside does not matter too much as long as we are stable onthe inside.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I really appreciate these comments. Getting it all together is hard. My experience with so many people is very different to most. I never judge a book by its cover so to speak. It’s amazing how most people respond to this approach and show their inner awesomeness!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t heard that saying before, but it does make sense! I think I actually do have a feather duster that has rooster feathers. Sorry, rooster! 😅 🐓 Still, it’s nice that metaphorical roosters can become feather dusters and go back to being roosters later, unlike the literal dusters.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Pingback: Everybody Loves A Good Comeback – You Too Can Rise From The Ashes | strategic teams

  4. Good point, and gorgeous photo selecting. Am I going to be the only one to think it…. then type it?
    “If we are not strutting our stuff, we will make our a**es useful in the mean time.”

    Liked by 2 people

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