My son and wife bought me an aquarium for Father’s Day. I decided to set it up as a saltwater reef tank. We started slow with a couple of clownfish (think Nemo). I added a coral or two. And things were going well.

Then decided to try something that my local fish expert said was too difficult, and I added a pair of seahorses. The seahorses fit right in and even thrived.

Happy with my success, I added some new fish, including a wrasse I was told would be too aggressive. But it was an amazing purple and looked so good in the tank. Things were good.

After a couple of weeks I noticed I hadn’t seen one or two of the smaller fish in a while.

I was having so much fun with the aquarium I decided to add a Flame Angel, a beautiful red fish with yellow, orange and purple trim. The experts said it might be ok. And it seemed to settle in very well the first day. But the next day I noticed the Flame Angel was eating some of my corals, and even chasing my prized seahorses. I had to get it out of the tank!

In order to catch it I had to literally take everything out of the tank, destroying the environment I’d worked so hard to create. But finally captured it. Then put everything back together as best as I could.

I keep finding new corals and fish I want. I know the tank is already full, but I’m working hard to stay on top of my tank. The risk in adding more specimens is harming the water quality. If I take it one or two specimens too far, the water quality will fail and everything in the tank may die.

But I’m having so much fun!

You know, this is how it is with leadership. At first we put our teams together so carefully. When the team gets traction and starts to produce results we become enamored and want to change it to make it better. And as we grow we’ll want to add one or two more “fish” because we are positive it will make it better, even if we don’t have room for them. We keep finding beautiful new “fish.”

The health of the organizational environment takes planning, balance and discipline.

“We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about – farming replacing hunting.”

Jacques Cousteau

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