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Avoiding the Parasites

Avoiding the Parasites

One of my granddaughters went onto our lawn overlooking the Atlantic here in Nantucket last night, and threw pieces of chicken that were left over from dinner onto the grass. Within seconds, two huge herring gulls landed. The second constantly fought the first for food, even though there was plenty for both, and she threw it on different parts of the lawn. But the second gull wanted to fight for every piece. The first one ate the most.

This behavior is called “kleptoparasitism” which means that the costs and energy of direct feeding are worse than those of stealing something, usually food.

That’s why people want to steal others’ IP or clients or repute. They don’t have the brains or strength to create things themselves, so it’s “easier” to steal someone else’s.

Seagulls don’t have lawyers, because they can’t fly with briefcases. The smarter, faster ones find the food first and eat it. The ones trying to steal it are always chasing them, until they starve.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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