Focus on the Goose, not the Golden Egg

For those of us who have been consultants, we've seen situations where:

  1. we are asked to build something, we do so and move on
  2. a client has a pain point, we take responsibility for fixing it, and move on

Having also been a full-time engineering manager, I was surprised how attached some people become to the golden eggs which come and go (software releases, turnarounds, products). I'm much more interested in the well being and growth of the geese who lay the golden eggs.

Do you focus on the goose, or do you serve the goose for dinner and end up hungry later?