Saturday, 5 January 2008
A short story...
Factory gates- Villiers Company Ltd (Wolverhampton)
In a distant land, not unlike our own, there was a successful business man who was in charge of a large company. He had four sons, the two elder sons were adults and worked with the father, their job within the company was to drum up as much trade as possible. The products made were expensive but of the highest quality, there were no "easy terms", the products involved serious investment. These two adult sons, Alphonsus and Steve, set about doing the work their father had assigned to them.
Alphonsus had a great love for the history of the company and he took great delight in showing prospective clients around the factory, enthusing over the beautiful machinery and the happy workforce. He had a vast knowledge of the business transactions of the company dating way back to its foundation. He was a gentle, shy man and won many prospective clients over because of his devotion to the company and to his father.
Steve preferred to be out and about, on the surface he seemed the more extrovert of the two. He would travel far and wide, drumming up support and clients from far flung areas. He had a gift for speaking to people and treating them like equals. He too won over many new customers with his sincerity.
Best of all was when the two brothers worked together, no one could beat them, none of the competition came near.
The two younger sons were twins and still teenagers. In truth, they had been spoiled by their father, who had showered riches on them from an early age, they were both highly educated and enthusiastic. The father asked them to start work alongside their elder brothers. One attached himself to Alphonsus and one to Steve. Things started to go wrong. One twin had a vision for the future of the company that would be modeled solely on the way Alphonsus did business. The other had a vision based on Steve's methods. Because of the way the twins squabbled, it became difficult for the elder brothers to work together. Whilst new clients were still forthcoming, vision and future plans invented by the twins were clouding the unity of the firm. Each twin firmly believed the company would be less successful if his vision was not implemented.
The father called time on the teenagers' working. He called them into his office and said: "You are foolish, arrogant boys. I gave you one remit only, to bring me more clients. You have been developing action plans for the future. How dare you do this. You know nothing about the future. I am the boss, how this company develops is my job. Yes, you have brought me new clients, but they are confused and some think there are two companies at work here under the one roof. You have made the job of your elder brothers very difficult. You have never consulted me about your plans. This is an ego trip on both your parts. Please learn boys, that there are only two things certain, the "here and now" and the fact that at some time you will die. Think about yourselves and the job I gave you to do. Live in the "here and now" like both your brothers do. Do not live in the past or the future and trust me to take care of the rest. Use your talents to do the job I gave you to do and stop trying to do my job. You can always leave and set up your own companies if you want, but be warned; we'll wipe the floor with you!"
Can we all get rid of the teenager within us and grow up! Please!