Of Birds and Squirrels Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue No. 25

This week’s reflection point: Several years ago, I decided to take on a new hobby — bird watching. Yes, I am serious. What started with one finch feeder turned into an empire of about a dozen various feeders in my back yard.

Since then I had my gardener plant a flowering tree and a beautiful island of stones next to my bird sanctuary. This little heaven has attracted a variety of gorgeous birds, the neighbors’ cats, some chipmunks, and even a fox. Even my wife, who figured it must be another one of my mid-life crises, surprised me with The Birds Of Ohio book as a special gift.

And then the squirrels took notice and it was then that the battle began. Being the clever entrepreneur that I am and having years of military background, I was determined to win the battle. I first placed special “cones” to cover the poles. But the squirrels were smarter than that. They figured out how to jump above the cones or climb on the tree and like Tarzan jump on top of the poles and slide down onto the bird feeders.

So I decided to invent an ingenuous method. I greased the poles with heavy industrial oil and covered them with red pepper. “That will teach them once and for all” I said. Guess what, their intellect was superior. They figured out how to overcome this challenge course as well. And yes, they finally won the war and greatly enjoy the feeders.

This made me realize that even in business we must learn to pick our battles. We can get hung up on trivial issues that derail the critical challenges that we must deal with and become a real time drain. For more on this, watch How To Reduce Labor Intensity video.

This week’s tip: Choose your battles wisely. Are they ALL really worth fighting about?

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