The Goose and the Golden Egg

Almost anyone can deliver results for a quarter or two but the real challenge is to create a business that can sustain both the Goose and the Golden Egg, year after year.

Delivering superior performance while building the production capability to deliver it, again and again, is the very definition of greatness in any enterprise.

Why is this so?

Aesops Fable: The Goose and the Golden Egg

There once was a country farmer who discovered in the nest of his pet goose a glittering golden egg. At first, he thought it was some kind of trick to deceive him. But he decided to have the egg appraised and to his surprise discovered the egg was pure gold.

He becomes more excited the next day when the goose lays another golden egg. Day after day, he continues to find another golden egg. He becomes fabulously wealthy.

But with wealth comes greed and impatience. Unable to wait day after day for the golden eggs, the farmer kills his goose in order to get all the golden eggs at one time.

But when he opens the goose, he finds it empty. There are no golden eggs – and now he has no way to get more.

The farmer destroyed the very thing that produced them.

Within this fable is a key principle to sustainable success.

Sustaining success is a function of two things: What is produced [the golden egg] and the capacity to produce [the goose].

If you only focus on producing the golden eggs and neglect the goose [building production capacity for tomorrow] you will soon be without the golden egg.

The key lies in balancing of Achieving Results and Building Capability.

Operating from your 80/20 Sweet Spot is one way to achieve this balance.

We approach the goal of superior performance by helping you focus on and deliver specific results and build more sustainable production capability.

Under these two areas [Achieving Superior Results and Building Sustainable Capability] we work with you in three areas:

Achieving Results 

  1. Execution of Getting the Right things Done. Achieve specific results like increasing sales, improving quality, scalability, clarity of marketing messaging, or other specific initiatives that are in alignment with your overall goals, guiding principles and mission.

Building Sustainable Production Capabilities

  1. Developing Principle-Centered Leaders. We help build sustainable leadership capabilities based on principles, character, alignment and the ability to achieve consistent   We build principle-centered leaders.
  2. Individual effectiveness. We help small business enterprises to increase the personal performance of their staff.  We build personal greatness.


Please follow and like us:

The principle of completed staff work.

The power behind completed staff work helps address the greatest challenge in the business world today which is not being able to get everything done with the time and resources available.

Part of the problem is not knowing what to say ‘NO’ to.

Years ago I learned about a principle Henry Kissinger instilled in those who worked with him called “completed staff work” that helped address this problem.

The concept is about developing effectiveness in yourself and others and getting it right every time.

Completed staff work requires people to give you their best thinking, their best recommendations and ultimately their best work.

When a staff member came to Kissinger with a recommendation from a delegated task, before even reading it, Kissinger asked: “Is this the very best recommendation you could come up with?”

More times then not, the staff member would answer something like, “No, I can strengthen this recommendation with additional research and detail.”

Each time they come back with an improved recommendation, Kissinger would keep challenging them “Is this your very best?  Is there room for improvement?”

When I implemented this in my car dealership, I asked 5 times before getting the final version and finally reading it.

The idea of this is to empower your staff to reach their highest potential and make better contributions.

Unfortunately, many small BIZ owners have not learned to trust the principles of delegation and empowerment. They continue to do it all themselves until ultimately, they burn out.

Five elements of effective delegation and employee empowerment for greater effectiveness:

  1. Know What You Want and Clearly State it. Establish clear desired end results. Help employees to understand that they will be expected to give their best thinking in solving problems, making decisions and formulating recommendations.
  2. Ask Questions. As the manager or co-worker ask “What is your recommendation? How would you solve this or how would you implement this policy?’ Get in the habit of soliciting ideas and buy-in for those around you.
  3. Clarify Assumptions. Different assumptions have sunk more than a few good ideas before they even had a chance. Before walking away, always ask for clarification of what the other party heard vs what you said.
  4. Give People the Tools They Need. Provide the necessary resources, time and access to information.  Make yourself accessible for providing info and feedback.
  5. Provide an Environment for Success. Give people the time to present their recommendations and time for you to ask clarifying questions.

The principle behind completed staff work is simply a means to teach people to do their own thinking and to think accurately.

When done correctly completed staff work has the benefit of saving everyone’s time and produces better results – a true 80/20 win-win for all stakeholders.

[Source: Stephen Covey]

Please follow and like us:

We are created by God to be RELATIONAL – to have and enjoy relationships.

We long for relationships with others. 

We all understand what a financial bank account is. We make monetary deposits into it to build up a reserve from which we can make withdrawals when needed.  

An Emotional Bank Account (EBA) is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust we have built up in a relationship. It’s the safety net of trust we’ve built up with another human being. 

When I make deposits into the Emotional Bank Account I have with you, I build up that reserve for the time I may need to make a withdrawal. The level of trust between us becomes higher and I can call on that trust if I need to. 

My communication may not be clear but you’ll understand what I mean anyway. 

When trust is high, communication is easy, immediate and effective.  

Here are Emotional Bank Account (EBA) deposits that will go a long way to your being trusted, respected and an influencer.  Someone others want to follow.

  • Be Authentic – Be honest about current reality as it relates to what motivates, demotivates, drives you, and your Guiding Principles. No one will follow a hypocrite.
  • Be Open & Honest – Honesty is a Biblical mandate. Be trustworthy, live in integrity and display high moral character. Don’t be afraid to tell some of the bad along with the good.
  • Be Compassionate – people care when they know you care.
  • Be GentleBe caring & Patient. “a gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” -Proverbs 15:1
  • Be Competent and Deliver Results
  • Be a Good Listener – listen with the intent to understand rather than simply to reply. This is probably the single most important deposit you can make.
  • Keep your Promises – if you say or even intimate that you are going to do something, do it. [an effective way to fulfill this deposit is to get in the habit of – Under-promise and Over-deliver (UPOD)]
  • Think Win-Win or No Deal – have the courage to walk away if it’s not.
  • Clarify Expectations – make sure everyone fully understands, including yourself. Unclear expectations undermine communication and trust. The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in this single issue.
  • Be Loyal to the Absent – never talk badly about anyone behind their back.
  • Apologize sincerely and quickly when you make a withdrawal from another’s Emotional Bank Account
  • Be Proactive – Accept Responsibility – don’t blame anyone else.
  • Be open to Feedback – be willing to listen to criticism; Correction does not mean rejection.
  • Be Forgiving

All of life is about relationships.

Please follow and like us: