The Frozen Bird

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing … [ Read more ]

Always let your boss have the first say

A sales rep, an administration clerk and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

The Genie says, “I usually only grant three wishes, so I’ll give each of you just one.”

“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a … [ Read more ]

Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks

An exercise and known as ‘Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks’. Imagine a bucket. Put three or four big rocks in. “Is the bucket full? ” “No” you reply. “Of course not” I say and put some smaller rocks in it to fill in the gaps. “Full now? “, “No”. I put in some sand, then some water. It’s full.

So, what’s the learning here? It’s to … [ Read more ]

Don’t let self limitations hold you back

The first [leadership lesson] I learned in the jungles of Bangalore, at an elephant camp. When you visit such a camp you see these gigantic elephants tethered with a small stake. I asked the trainer: ‘Why do they stay tethered when they could so easily pull up the stake?’ He told me: ‘Well, the elephant is tethered as a small calf; when it tries to … [ Read more ]

Ability Development

In Ability Development from Age Zero, Shinichi Suzuki describes telling a violin student:

‘”Stop playing the violin for one week. There is something you must learn besides the violin. It is the spirit of doing things for other people. … To begin with, pick up your friend’s books when they have fallen…. Live by looking for things to do for other people. This is your homework … [ Read more ]

Ask What’s It All For?

A corporate executive on holiday in a small Greek seacoast village was strolling by the docks and drinking in the local color. He complimented one fisherman on the quality of his catch.

“How long did it take you to get all those fish?” he wondered.

“Not very long,” answered the Greek. “An hour or two.”

“Then why didn’t you stay out longer to catch more?”

Shrugging, the Greek explained … [ Read more ]

The doctrine of the prior agenda

…my wife, Carol [Bolles], is a well-known career counselor in her own right. She was meeting with a client who worked in the rubber industry — let’s call him George. George told her in their first session, “I’ve got to get out of the rubber industry.” So she gave him some homework to do before their next session. He came back the next week, and … [ Read more ]