There once was a soldier who depended very much on his
horse as he fought in the battles of war. Needing the horse
to be in top condition the soldier took very good care of the
horse. In return the horse was able to function very well for
the soldier and the two together were very successful.

Once the war had been won the soldier and the horse
relaxed to enjoy the daily routines of normal life. No longer
did the soldier pay attention to the horse and failed to treat
the horse with proper food and shelter but demanding the
horse take on the demands of drudging work.

War broke out again and the soldier went to his horse ready
to write him into new battles. But when the soldier attempted
to ride the horse into battle the wretched beast collapsed,
saying that the poor treatment had turned him into a donkey
and he would not be restored to a trusty steed in just a
moment.

Moral of the story as it applies to the business world
If we compare managers to the soldier and compare
employees to the horses we see a business culture that is all
too common in the contemporary business world. Soldiers
appreciate their weapons and tools during the time of battle
and even as they see the battle approaching. But with no
pending battle they often take less care of the battlefield
tools and use them for the generally intended purposes.

Unfortunately many managers perform in the same manner.
Starting out a company, expanding it are engaging in
special projects to steal market share from competitors it is
easy to see employees as valuable assets. During more
routine times of business they see their employees as
commodities – in place just get the job done.

The fact is that employees are typically the only asset the
company owns that will appreciate in value. As the soldier
learned, this value appreciation can become asset
depreciation if the asset (employee) is taken for granted.

Related topics:
The soldier and horse
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timeless fables we remember words best when we
become engaged in a story. Max has compiled an
anecdotal story collection designed to generate “ah-
ha” moments.
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