Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Three Envelopes

There was once a manager for a busy company. He was a nice guy that the staff liked and trusted and business was good.

One day the owner of the company met and hired a young man to be Assistant Manager. This young man was fresh from college and had never been in management before. His job knowledge was good, but he had very few skills when dealing with people.

The Assistant Manager went to the owner and said he could be running things much better and more profitably than the Manager could. The Owner, who was a greedy man, decided to give the young man a try, so he called in the Manager and let him go.

The older Manager went to his office and packed his personal belongs. The young assistant came into the office just as he was leaving.

“Oh, I’m so sorry but your ways are to old fashioned. I think I can double sales in a month.” The young man said in a cocky tone.

“Yes, well, maybe you can. At any rate I left you three pieces of advice. I know you don’t want to hear them, so I wrote each one down and put it into and envelope. I marked the envelopes #1, #2, and #3. They are in the desk, in the bottom drawer. When things start getting tough, open them, one at a time and see if they don’t help.” With that, the Manager took his box and left.

Things looked good for the first few weeks and the young man thought he was a big success. Then sales dropped, they had delivery problems and the Owner started coming down on him.

The young man remembered the advice from the old Manager and he looked in the desk drawer. He took envelope #1 from the drawer. It said:

“Blame everything on me. Tell them I had things running so badly that it’s going to take several weeks to straighten things out and get the staff doing things in the new way.”

He took the advice and it worked very well, for a while. But pretty soon things started getting bad again. It wasn’t long until the young man started getting desperate. He remembered the envelopes and opened #2. It said:

“Blame the staff. Tell the Owner you’re going to have to let several people go and get better qualified people in their place.”

That sounded good. The young man followed the advice and the Owner gave him some more time to get sales up again.

Once again, things seemed better for a short time, but they didn’t work. The young man had job knowledge but just wasn’t a manager.

He was really desperate by this time so he returned to the drawer, took out envelope #3. It said:

“Prepare three envelopes.” 

Live Long and Prosper...

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