I recently learnt something that I found very eye-opening, and I reckon you will as well.
Oh and if you can guess what book this analogy is from too, I’ll give you a free 15 minute strategy session on Skype. Good luck.
In life and business, we often focus most (if not all) of our attention on “production” or productivity. In the world we live in, everything runs on deadlines, performance metrics, KPIs, profit and so on. It’s all about getting the highest possible return from the least time invested.
However this often comes at the expense of the asset. Remember Aesop’s fables? My mum used to read them to me as bedtime stories when I was a kid. The fable “The Goose that laid the golden egg” explains this point.
The Goose that laid the golden egg
In the fable, a farmer one day discovered that one of his geese had laid a golden egg! He couldn’t believe his luck, and even more so when the next day the goose laid another. The farmer was ecstatic. Day by day, the goose laid golden egg after golden egg.
But as time went by, the farmer grew more and more impatient, wanting more and more eggs. Until one day he decided that he wanted to get all of the golden eggs from the goose at once, so that he could become rich. So he killed the goose. However when he opened it up to retrieve the eggs, to his surprise there were no eggs there… and now he had killed the goose that was producing the golden eggs in the first place.
How does this relate?
In life and business, we often focus on getting those golden eggs. This can be at the detriment of employees, of our investments, of our bodies, of our relationships… We often want the reward at the expense of the asset that produces the reward in the first place.
We work 12 or more hours per day in high stress careers to earn the money, except that we completely burn ourselves out and our health suffers as a result. Meaning we can no longer work.
We want to maximize the return on our investments, but we might do so at the detriment of the capital asset that is producing those returns in the first place.
Machines run 24 hours a day 7 days a week in factories, but without proper care and servicing they break down and cause incredibly expensive downtime.
So the moral of the story is instead of focusing all of our attention on the production or the end result, instead we should focus our attention on the asset itself, and the production will come naturally as the value of the asset increases.
The change in mindset
If we look after employees and make sure they feel valued and fulfilled, they will be more inclined to produce the result that we want, instead of trying to beat it out of them through micromanagement.
Or if we want our partner to be “more this” or “more that”, if we focus instead on how we can support them, love them, and make THEIR lives better… then we’re much more likely to have a far more rewarding and fulfilling relationship together as they make our lives better in return.
We live in a society of instant gratification, of taking before giving, and “what’s in it for me”. If we can learn to provide value first, to take responsibility of improving the lives of others instead of expecting others to improve our lives first, and learning to give before taking… Then everything in our lives will become richer as a result.
Don’t kill the goose to get those golden eggs…
I’ll speak to you soon,