The Goose and The Golden Egg of Business

This past weekend I was listening to a presentation on a book many of you have heard and read, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; I was drawn towards a reference to an old fable by Aesop, The Goose & The Golden Egg.

The story goes like this for those who aren’t familiar: A poor farmer discovers that his prized goose has begun to lay golden eggs each day. Excitedly, the farmer takes the eggs to the market and begins to get rich. With his newfound success, the farmer starts growing impatient by only receiving one egg a day from his goose and isn’t getting rich fast enough. One day after counting his money, he realizes that he could get all the golden eggs at once if he kills the goose and cuts it open. The farmer goes and kills the goose, and doing so, he does not find a single golden egg, and his prized goose is dead.

Now there are a host of morals and lessons one can take away from that story, but think about this — Sometimes, within our teams, we can become attached to the fruits of our success and can lose sight of who got us there in the first place. Foster relationships with the right team members, and remember that you’ll get your golden egg. Too much focus on getting all the eggs at once, and you can lose your goose.

In our world as a general contractor, I can think of several instances where working with a client or core subcontractor is necessary to develop a more of a ‘win-win’ scenario through the unique set of issues that plague construction rather than killing the goose.

This story is a good reminder that while we are in the business of building, at our core, we are about building long-lasting relationships so together, we can be successful.

Not bad for a 2,500-year-old Greek guy, right?

Chris Vasel

Project ManagerĀ 

The Douglas Company

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