Forget the Forest…They’re Stuck in the Shrubs!

As the saying goes…“They can’t see the forest through the trees” most people won’t even pick their head up to see if there is actually a forest. But they’ll tell you without looking up why “you” have no idea of what’s beyond the tree line. It’s within this lexicon I feel it necessary to enlighten these self-appointed arborists that before they decide to pick out their chain saws so they can get a better view, they might do themselves a favor and start mastering the hedge trimmers first.

There are times I find myself in a state of pure awe at the way people who have no experience in actually running a business begin to state facts and ideas as if they co-authored one of Jack Welch’s books regarding business management. It’s one thing to have an opinion, it’s quite another to state that opinion in a tone and manner as if they pioneered these complexities by trial and error at their own hands.

Viewing the business landscape with a myopic eye can be detrimental. However there are times that you need that laser focus to work your way through difficult terrain. At times you needn’t quantify every danger, pitfall, or species of tree within the forest. What’s needed is the knowledge that there are dangerous animals, rugged terrain, possible swamps, and alike that you may or may not have to navigate through. This understanding comes from spending time in the woods. There is a knowledge to be learned that no book or television show can impart. You have to venture into the forest even if that means you’ll have to make your own tools as you go.

The reasons most self-appointed business arborits feel the need to express what they believe to be factual for anyone listening is because they themselves can not see. They see green everywhere, and they can’t seem to move without becoming entangled within the stalks and roots of their world. Next they’ll go on ad-nausea to express that all one needs is a chainsaw to get a better view. They’ll start quoting brands and specifications they’ve meticulously read. What they fail to realize is they’ve never themselves been in the forest. They’re stuck within thick shrubbery or hedges and don’t know the difference.

Books and television can enlighten you to the dangers and pitfalls that may be encountered within a forest or what might await beyond the tree line. But it’s the understanding that there is a forest that’s critical. Not how many trees there are within a given acreage or what brand of chain saw rated highest by some review magazine the arm-chair arborist feels the need to site.

Just because they’ve watched someone carve an ice sculpture at a party, doesn’t mean by osmosis they’re now ready for a spot on TV’s “Axe Men.” Sounds harsh? Just listen to someone who watched a financial channel more than once. Different field, same conclusions. Because after all…

It’s a jungle out there!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr