Caterpillar and Time

December 13th, 2006

You know, Jared just celebrated his 7th birthday and, as one of his gifts in a Star Wars studded birthday party, he got a caterpillar on a little bush in a plastic container. The idea, I guess, is to see the caterpillar become a chrysalis and, from there, ultimately a butterfly.

It was interesting to watch him operate with that caterpillar. He kept looking at it every 5 minutes to see how much it was eating.

After about the 10th or 15th excursion to go get the plastic container, I finally blurted out, “Jared, you can’t micro-manage the caterpillar. It knows what its doing.” It occurred to me, in that one swift moment, the process of going from the caterpillar to a beautiful monarch butterfly is a process that needs to take place and one ultimately can’t speed it up.

When faced with confidence that the individual knows what he or she is doing, and irrespective of a company tendency to gravitate towards a sense of urgency with respect to everything that happens, there are certain things that just simply take time to develop. It doesn’t take too much time. It doesn’t take too little time. It just takes the right time.

Original writing date: May 17, 2005

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