The Maddening Discipline of Learning How to Let Go

Here is a wonderful story told by Richard Bookstaber:

In Southeast Asia, monkey trappers stake a small wooden box to the ground with a hole just large enough for the monkey to slide in its hand. Inside the box is placed a lychee nut. The trappers wait in hiding until a monkey comes by and reaches in for the prized nut. As the trappers emerge from their hiding place, net in hand, the monkey howls and screeches, and tries to pull the nut out of the box and escape. All the monkey has to do to free its hand is let go of the nut, because the hole is too small for the monkey’s hand if it is clenched around it. The monkey, too focused on the reward and ignoring the danger, refuses to give up the prize, while the trappers descend with their nets.

When was the last time you got so carried away with achieving an outcome that you eventually lost sight of what you were actually surrendering in return ? Whether it is a promotion, winning over the competition, looking to maximise return or what have you, the heat of the pursuit can at times make us overlook the actual value of what we fight so hard to get, in relation to how much it actually is costing us to get it. Beyond a certain point, by holding on so frantically to the nut of victory, we may well put ourselves in jeopardy with something else (dignity, reputation, financial risk etc.)

When All Is Said And Done

A few years ago, I was visiting a dying friend in hospital. He knew his days were counted, what with all those tubes and wires coming out of him. But he had that tranquil, peaceful and serene look of someone who appeared at peace with himself, ready to shuffle off his mortal coil and slip

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The Three Folded Fingers

Let’s face it: today’s leadership skills require collaboration and influence, rather than the old authoritarian approach of command and control. The days when the top viewed itself as cause and the rest of the world as merely effect are rapidly going. Throwing your weight around might work for a while, but in the end you

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