Let me be your chicken

As headlines go, you’ve got to admit that one went and got your attention, didn’t it?

This morning I decided to treat myself to a plate of bacon and eggs (scrambled, for those of you who are curious and crave the details). The kids were occupied with their toast, all was quiet (briefly), and I got to thinking about a riddle I’d heard years ago.

In a bacon and egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the chicken and the pig?

The simple answer is that the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

For many employers, recruiters or business owners it may seem that when faced with the chance to work with a chicken or pig, you want the pig. You want someone who is going to be all-in. However, I’m not so sure that’s really the best option.

When you think about the role the pig has to play in our breakfast scenario (apologies vegans and vegetarians out there) his sacrifice is perceived as commitment. In order to be part of the plate, he has to be slaughtered. The problem with this is that the pig can only be slaughtered once (no doubt something the pig, himself is relieved about).

Equally, the pig has no say in the process. The pig is caught up in someone else’s agenda, and remains a passive bystander until he is taken to the slaughter house and his lights switched off.

I’m not sure that’s actually commitment.

Not when you stop and think about the chicken. The chicken is born to lay eggs. It is in her very DNA. She does so without any prompting, coercion, very little encouragement and with no fuss. She voluntarily contributes to your breakfast, all you have to do is touch base with her once in a while and collect the eggs.

Your chicken will continue to lay eggs for as long as she is physically able to. Unlike the pig, she is not a one-time contributor to the plate.

Assistants can be either a pig or a chicken. The pigs are full of enthusiasm, but once they have given what they can, they burn out and have nothing left to offer.

Chickens can go the distance.

The chicken is the one with the real commitment.

Now, excuse me while I go and re-brand the business. What do you think of “Time Saving Chickens”?

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