Ghandi's Shoe

Ah-ha Moment

Gandhi’s shoe Indian statesman and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi is noted for his humanity and selflessness. One day he was boarding a train with a number of companions and followers when his shoe suddenly fell off, cascading the train and platform. Determining it could not be retrieved he took off the other shoe and threw it in the gap between train and platform. His companions were dumbfounded by this action. What was Gandhi’s reasoning?

Sensing their puzzlement Gandhi explained that whoever finds a single shoe finds nothing of value.

However, the person finding a pair finds something worthwhile.

In many companies, leadership is often giving their team members one shoe. A major appliance retailer decided to run a sales contest with the top generator receiving a free cruise for two. Although leadership thought this was a fantastic way to motivate their sales team they quickly found that some stores were not seeing a bump in contracts.

They had unwittingly offered just one shoe.

In talking with team members at stores without an increase they learned had offered one shoe. Although the thought of a cruise was delightful, the salespeople in the more urbanized stores needed the second shoe: someone to watch their children during the cruise.

Whether benefits, sales contest, or retention package be sure to think about what you are offering. Ask yourself, is this a complete pair of shoes?

Life Lesson: Think like the other person.