Last Pig To the Trough


Pigs can’t reason or think; so when it is supper time, they all run to the trough to get their evening meal. Even the sow will snap and bite at her own piglets if she senses she is not getting her fair share; sometimes we humans are pig-like.

And the sad part, sometimes camp directors or leaders are the first man at the trough!

First man at the trough gets the gravy; the easy jobs; the clean jobs; the jobs that get the most accolades and people’s praise. Last man to the trough gets toilet patrol, pot scrubbing, floor mopping, mid-night housekeeping, or 5 a.m. breakfast duty- all done out of sight and with no clapping and cheering.

I am currently read the book, Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek. It is becoming one of my best reads of the winter.

In the book, the example of the Marines is used. The first thing out of a commanders mouth when new recruits begin basic training is this: “FROM THIS DAY ON,“ he shouted, “words like ‘I,’ ‘ Me, ’ ‘My’ will no longer be in your vocabulary. They will be replaced with words like ‘We,’ ‘Together,’ and ‘Us.’” Why do Marines work so well together as a team when under fire? The author states, “The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people pull together as a team. And it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”

One of our staff members has a little sign posted on her door, “Even illness changes to wellness when you change I to we.” I couldn’t agree more.

If you are talking about “I” did this or “my” staff, I will not want to jump into a fox hole with you. If you are the first pig to the trough, I would rather go hungry than be near you in the pig pen, and so will your staff.

Stay humble, stay available, but stay away from the table until the rest have eaten.

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