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a blog by Chris Barrow


When you choose to get angry OR EVEN with someone who doesn’t care, you are simply a dog barking at a lamppost.

A friend recently shared with me his rage, frustration and bitterness about his dealings with a group of faceless bureaucrats who had basically done the dirty on him financially and commercially.

He runs his own business.

They are employed by a monolithic and largely non-accountable organisation.

He became more and more animated as he shared his plans for revenge, which included refusing (on principle) a large and lucrative financial offer.

“I’ll show them – I’ll tell them where to shove their offer!”


Reality check please.

  1. The lamppost can’t hear the dog barking;

  2. The lamppost wouldn’t give a shit if it could hear;

  3. If you arm-wrestle with the lamppost, the lamppost will never budge and you will eventually get tired;

  4. Even if you bite or piss on the lamppost, it still doesn’t know or care;

  5. On-lookers think the dog is barking – mad that is;

  6. It isn’t an attractive leadership characteristic.

So my coaching advice was to focus on the bigger picture – the strategy of his business and personal development plans. Accept the offer and get on with things.

People spend far too much time barking up lampposts as well as barking at each other.

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