The Silver Lining
There once lived a great mathematician in a village. He was often called by the local king to advise on matters related to the economy. One day, the village headman tells him, “You may be a great mathematician, but your son does not know what is more valuable: gold or silver.”
The mathematician calls his son, “What is more valuable: gold or silver?” “Gold”, says the son. The father responds, “Then please explain why is it then that the village headman claims you do not know what is more valuable? I feel everyone in the village is laughing behind my back because they feel my son is ignorant.”
The son explains, “Every day on my way to school, the village headman calls me to his house. There, in front of all village elders he holds out a silver coin in one hand and a gold coin in the other. He then asks me to pick up the more valuable coin. I pick the silver coin. He laughs, the elders cheer, everyone makes fun of me, and Then I go to school. This happens every day.”
The father is confused. His son knew what was more valuable between gold and silver, yet when asked to choose between the two, he always picked the silver coin. The son responds to his father’s dilemma by taking him to his room and showing him a box full of silver coins “The day I pick the gold coin, the game will be over!”
The boy’s approach captures three ‘silver’ rules of relationship management: shed your ego, plan long-term, and be innovative.
The above rules go beyond the realm of individualism. Even an organization’s success trajectory is a direct derivation of its grounded, long-standing, and inventive approaches!