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Trench Leadership

Close to a battlefield over 200 years ago, a man in civilian clothes rode upon a small group of exhausted, battle-weary soldiers digging an obviously important defensive position.  The section leader, making no effort to help, was shouting orders and threatening punishment if the work was not completed within the hour. “What are you doing?”(..)

Out of the World!

An elderly owner of a convenience store decides to hire a manager.  Two candidates turn up.  He picks a ballpoint pen from the shelf and says, “Sell me one of these.” The first man examines the pen, “This is an excellent pen.  You will note the transparent barrel, which indicates the color as well as the remaining quantity of the(..)

Ready, Steady, Don’t Go!

Once, in a small village, lived an athletic teenager who takes part in a running competition.  A large crowd gathers, including the young adult’s grandfather.  It’s a competitive race that includes two past champions.  The talented teenager pushes himself hard and wins the race.  The crowd goes wild, cheering for him.  The young(..)

The Forked Path

An elderly Cherokee chief took his granddaughter for a walk to teach her about life.  “There has been a fight happening inside me for many years,” he tells the young girl, “a fight between two wolves.  One wolf is evil.  It’s full of malice and anger.  The other is good.  It’s full of peace and love.  This same fight(..)

Endearing Endurance

A wise man wanted to teach his four kids the fallacy of judging things too quickly and decides to send them on a journey, one after the other, to a distant tree.  Each youngster was sent in a different season.  At the end of the year, he brought his kids together and asked them what they’d seen. The youngster who’d travelled in winter(..)

The Giving Takeaways

A baker and a farmer lived in a tiny English village.  The two men had a friendly arrangement where the farmer would sell a pound of butter to the baker each day. One morning, the baker  weighed the butter to see if he’d received the correct amount.  Surprisingly, he discovered that the farmer had sold him less butter than he’d paid for.  Angry(..)

In or Out?

Once, a very rich man goes to a wise sage with his problem, “I keep acquiring everything I please, yet each time my happiness is short-lived.”  The sage tells him to come back the next day. The man arrives the next morning and discovers the sage is searching for something in the thick bushes outside his hut.  “What are you looking for?” the man(..)

Happy Miseries

A discontented man prays every night, “God, I am the unhappiest man on the Earth!  No sooner do I sort one problem, another one pops up.   I beg you to exchange my worries with someone else – anyone will do!” Then one night, God comes in his dream, “Gather all of your miseries into a bag and bring it to the temple hall.”  When the man wakes(..)

The History of Geography

Once, a wise man goes to a Zen master – “I want to master the art of living; please teach me.”  The master asks the man to join him for a cup of tea first. His disciple brings a tray of empty cups with a tea kettle.  Most of the cups are a random mix of ordinary cups, however, a few look exquisite.  The man picks one of the exquisite ones.(..)

Instant Delay

During the 1960s, an American psychologist, Walter Mischel, conducted “the marshmallow test” at Stanford University.  Working with four-year-olds from a preschool, he assessed their abilities to delay gratification.  Each pre-schooler was given one marshmallow.  The four-year-olds were told that they could eat it immediately or, if they waited until(..)

The Ultimate Glue

In 2005, the US National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets were looking for a talented player to add to their roster. The usual scouting reports and analyses delivered a list of names. Some of them were unavailable or too expensive, and others did not seem like the right fit for the team.  Then, using advanced analytics capabilities, the(..)

One For The Wall

Two college friends go to a bistro. One of them orders a large cup of coffee, takes a couple of sips, and then leaves the rest. Annoyed, the second one questions him, “Why did you waste it?” The boastful youngster replies, “I bought this cup not to consume but to do my bit to create employment.” When we are young, frivolous ideologies often drive(..)

The Perception Games

Once a young man meets a well-traveled man.  The traveler tells him great tales of his explorations and talks about a country that had no onions.  “No onions!” exclaims the man, “How can anyone enjoy the true pleasure of food without onions?” Without further thought, he buys onions, fills his cart, and sets his journey towards this whimsical(..)

Best Kept Secret

Once a young professional approached a successful man to seek guidance on the secret of excellence. The man asked, “But why do you wish to pursue excellence?” The youngster replied, “So that my seniors notice my work, and I am rewarded accordingly.” The man smiled and beckoned the young man to accompany him on a short road trip.  They drove down(..)

Gone with the Wind

Once upon a time, there was a contractor who built wooden houses along the seashore. He constantly advertised for carpenters. However, most people refused to work near the coast as they dreaded the awful raging storms that would wreak havoc on new construction.  Finally, a middle-aged applicant approached the contractor.  “Are you a responsible(..)

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Adapted - Arun Nathani Blog