The guide said , ” if you stop a poor decision and create a void , you can
fill it with something better.”
The young man said, ” But I am afraid that I give up what I have, I will
not find anything better.”
” We are all afraid of that” the guide said.” It take courage to let go of
what is familiar and comfortable.But, in reality, it is actually a safer and
more reliable way to get better results.
” When what is not working for you is finally out of your way, you are
then free to find something better.And you usually do, rather quickly.
The ancient Chinese had an expression for this wisdom.
” If you want
a hot cup of tea,you must first empty your cup”.Pouring hot tea into
a cup full of cold tea means the hot tea cannot enter the cup but
rather spills over onto the saucer.”
” I see”, the young man said slowly.Then he offered, ” That reminds
me of a buyer friend of mine. He avoided firing an incompetent
supplier, who had failed to perform satisfactory after being given
several chances.My friend knew of no one better to do the job,
so instead of stopping what was not working, he continued using
the same supplier.”
” What happened?” the guide asked.
The young man said, ” the supplier kept making mistakes and it cost
my friend`s company time and money.Eventually, it was my friend who
was fired for not doing his job, I am sorry to say.”
The young man thought for a moment and then asked, ” Why do we
keep doing what we know does not work? ”
” Because ,” the guide said, ” although it is often dangerous, we feel
safer , if we do not change what is familiar .Eventually , the ineffective
but familiar way becomes accepted.You see this in organizations.”
” Can you give me an example? ” the young man asked.
” Yes.Many years ago, the U.S Army wanted to get off more rapid rounds
of cannon fire and so hired a consultant to study the program.He went
into the field and noticed that the soldiers stepped back from the cannon
and waited for about three seconds every time before they fired the
cannon. ” When he asked why, they replied that they were following
directions laid down in the army manual. The consultant read through
all the back issues of the manual until he had traced the instructions to
their origin in the Civil War when the soldiers were advised to step away
from their weapons before firing so they could hold the gun horses`s heads.
Otherwise , the horses would bolt, jerking the cannons off target.”
….(…to be continued..)