Why do some areas in our lives and companies never seem to grow?
It was well past midnight when the slender Russian woman finally snuck into the dark alleyway where her makeshift shelter lay hidden. Her cold delicate fingers tightly clenched the piece of stale bread that was deeply buried beneath her long tattered robes. The other hand hastily pulled back the burlap flap that concealed the entrance. Her senses were immediately assaulted with the foul smell of soiled diapers and ear-splitting screams from her baby boys.
Both of the twins squirmed and bellowed desperately as she entered. Their faces were contorted with fury and ravenous hunger. As the young woman began to hastily tear apart the small morsel of bread, long streams of tears flowed down her delicate and defeated face. After endless hours of begging on the streets, this measly piece of bread was all that she could afford.
As she hastily picked up one of the boys and began to sooth his frail little body in her arms, she fed him his portion of the bread. As she did so, she tried to tune out the hysteric screaming and clawing from the other starving child. She half pleaded and half sobbed the words, “Please stop crying my little one, mama will feed you next.”
But when the boy in her arms finished his last bite, he erupted back into tears. He is still desperately hungry and dangerously malnourished. The mother helplessly plopped his flailing body back onto the ground. She quickly turned to tear apart the remaining piece of bread.
When she faced her twins again, she picked up the louder baby and fed him the last bits of food. For she assumed the baby that screamed louder was the one who has yet to be fed. But she was wrong. She repeated this mistake night after night. Until one evening, she returned to her hut only to hear the screams of one single child.
There are many things in our lives and workplaces that demand our attention. But only the initiatives and relationships that are frequently fed with our constant attention will thrive and grow. The other ones are destined to die off due to neglect.