Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Climbing the Corporate Ladder - - What's the purpose of it?

A large tourist ship dropped anchor off the shore of a tiny Greek island and several American tourists decided to go to shore. While on the island, the Americans were invited to enjoy a delicious lunch served by a local fisherman's family.   When lunch was finished, they asked, "How long did it take you to catch all these wonderful fish?"

"Not very long," was the reply.  
"Wow! That's wonderful.  Why don't you guys stay out longer and catch more fish?"  The fishermen explained their small catches were more than sufficient to meet both their needs and those of the occasional tourists such as us who drop by. 

"But what do you do with the rest of your time all day?" asked another American.  
"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take a long siesta with our wives.  In the afternoons, we have a little snack and lay on the beach and watch the waves.  Many times we go into the village and visit our friends or maybe we go to a local pub and drink a little Ouzo and dance the afternoon away.  In the evenings after supper, we go to a local tavern and play the bouzouki, drink a little more Ouzo and sing a few songs with our friends."

Another American tourist interrupted, 
"Well, I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you.  You should start fishing longer each day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch and with the money you make, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And with a bigger boat, you can make even more money and you can buy a larger third boat, and fourth boat and so on until you have an entire fleet of new trawlers."

"Then, instead of selling your fish to a middle man at the local market, you can negotiate directly with the food processing plants on the mainland and in a few years, you can open your own food processing plant and distribution center.  With all the money you make, you can leave this little village and move to Athens and from there you can direct your huge new enterprise by cell phone and computer."
"How long would that take?" asked the Greek Fisherman
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the tourist.

"And after that, then what?"  asked the Greek Fisherman.
"After that my friend is when it really gets interesting," answered the American.  "When your business gets really big in about 25 years, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions?  Really?"  replied the fisherman.  "Yes and after that, then what?" asked the Greek fisherman.

"After that you will be able to sell off all your boats, properties and investments and retire.  You can move to a tiny village near the coast or perhaps to one of the beautiful islands where you can sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta in the afternoon with your wives and spend days with your friends and your evenings drinking Ouzo and singing and dancing," said the American.