One of Kona's pals is a chihuahua/poodle mix named Princess Leia. Leia weighs about eight or nine pounds soaking wet but that doesn't keep her from running with the big dogs. She usually does this by hiding behind someone's legs and dashing out when she sees an opportunity for play. However, on those occasions when she arrives first to an empty dog park, Leia shows why she is called "Princess". She assumes the park is hers and aggressively confronts all who seek entry. She barks, she charges, she's completely fearless.
In this Princess Leia is not unlike a lot of people I have met during my career. We sometimes have a tendency to carve out an area of influence and aggressively defend it against all comers. There are times, of course,when this is necessary. I once had a department head seek to absorb my office into her department and I had to play a bit of hardball because it was not in the best interests of the public to do so.
But I've also seen vicious infighting among government agencies to preserve duplicate or contradictory programs. I've seen good programs cancelled because of these turf wars. Worse, I have seen desperately needed help turned down because of the fear that accepting it would somehow diminish someone's perceived influence over their "turf."
The onlookers at the dog park are always amused by Leia's antics. We know that she wouldn't survive a serious encounter with most the dogs she chases and none of them take her seriously. So the next time you're thinking about engaging in a turf battle, think about what an outside observer would see. Is this really the way you want to look to your peers?