Are You A Boiling Frog?


You’ve all heard the anecdote: If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water it will panic, react and leap out pretty quickly. However, if you place it in a pot of water at room temperature, it will stay put. If you then place the pot on the cooker and gradually heat the water up, the frog will do nothing.

In fact, the frog will show no sign of distress. As the temperature continues to increase it will become more and more lethargic until it no longer has the strength to climb out. Regardless of the fact there is nothing forcing the frog to stay in the pot, it will sit there and boil.

Frogs are genetically geared to react to sudden threats and changes in their environment, not to slow gradual changes. This is known as sensory adaptation. A frog’s ability to adapt to the slowly increasing temperature is definitely not conducive to its long-term survival.

Let’s look at this in the more familiar environment of our own lives and businesses. Most of the change that we experience is gradual. It is rare for change to occur suddenly.

I have found with many of my clients that they have become accustomed to some shocking situations within their businesses, and have not realised that they are in fact, like the frog, in a boiling pot of water. If they had been thrown into the situation suddenly, they would most definitely have reacted to the situation and made an immediate change. But why do they stay in water that is approaching the boiling point? Is it because they just haven’t noticed, or is it because they have slowly become accustomed to the situation and accepted it as ‘just the way it is’?

An external perspective can be all it takes to alert the business owner to the danger they and their business are in; the challenge then is helping them to jump out of the water and alleviate the fear of ending up in the fire.

It’s human nature to be fearful of change. So, instead of jumping, they attempt to continue treading water hoping that the heat will eventually go away. What is riskier: trying to adapt and survive the heat, or jump out of the pot and change the environment? The question is, is this situation good for my business? If the answer is no, it’s time to jump and change it.

The Frog was not killed by the water, it was killed because it didn’t react in time.

There are occasions where adaptation is necessary, but there are others where it is not appropriate and will only end up delaying the inevitable.

Chose to jump or chose not to jump. Deep down, you know what you (really, really) need to do.

As the business owner, only you can make the change. The environment around you is of your making and can only be controlled by you.

If you think you may be sitting in a pot of water that’s slowly being heated up. Reach out and let’s have a chat.

Your first session is FREE and it could just change the course of your business forever.