With a common ground, solution of problems is easy

Once upon a time, a rich merchant died leaving 17 boxes
of jewels for his three sons. The merchant left a note, on
which was written that the first son got 1/2, the second son
got 1/3, and the third son got 1/9 part of the 17 boxes.

The sons wondered why their father left such a strange
note, as 17 boxes could not be divided by 2 or 3 or 9. This
created a problem. They argued among themselves as to
who will have how many boxes. The problem could not be
resolved and they went to a wise man for consultation.

The wise man brought his own box of jewels and added
it to the 17 boxes. Then the wise man said, “Now, there are
18 boxes. Half of 18 is 9, so the first son gets 9 boxes. One-third
of 18 is 6, so the second son gets 6 boxes. One-ninth
of 18 is 2, so the third son gets 2 boxes.”

The first son got 9 boxes, the second son got 6 boxes,
and the third son got 2 boxes. Adding up 9 + 6 + 2 was
equal to 17, which made up the total 17 boxes of jewels. The
18th box was the box of the wise man, which he kept with
himself. The wise man had added his own box of jewels, so
that it may serve as a common ground to solve the problem.

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Some problems are imaginary and not real

Once upon a time, the employees hardly talked and
remained silent almost throughout the day, working
diligently at their tasks. This silence improved their
performance, but the management was worried that the
silence may signify a communication problem, which may
affect the overall health of the employees and in turn, the
health of the company, as the employees were the assets of
the company. Hence, the service of a consultant was sought
to address the problem.

Arriving at the company, the consultant devised a
training program that would make the employees talk. In the
first session, he held up a picture of a rose and asked the
employees, “Tell me what this picture is about.” The
employees looked at the picture and remained silent. Then,
with a paternal air, he told the employees, “Well, it seems
like a red flower, does it not?” The employees remained
silent. With irritation, the consultant thereafter said, “Just tell
me whatever that comes in your mind.”

An employee hesitatingly said, “Is it Rosa pimpinellifolia?”

Another employee warily said, “I think it is Rosa stellata or
perhaps Rosa rugosa.”

Another employee joined the debate and said, “It looks
like Rosa roxburghii.”

Another employee opined, “Seems like Rosa minutifolia.”

Then the employees calmly debated amongst themselves
regarding the color, texture, number of petals, length of the
stem and type of thorns. After few minutes of debate, they
mutually agreed that the picture of the flower as shown, was
of the rose flower and particularly of the species known as
Rosa rugosa. Thereafter, once again they remained silent. Then
they turned their attention to the consultant waiting for an
answer.

Now the consultant remained silent as he did not know
the answer.

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Adverse situations used advantageously can offer solutions to problems

Once upon a time, a farmer’s donkey fell in an unused
dried well and started braying. The farmer tried to pull the
donkey with ropes but was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, due to
the constant braying of the donkey, the villagers gathered
around the well.

Irritated by the braying of the donkey, one villager
picked up a shovel and threw some dirt on the donkey, to
stop him from braying. The donkey stopped braying, shook
off the dirt from his body, stepped on it, and thereafter
started to bray again. Once more, the man threw a shovel
full of dirt on the donkey. Again, the donkey stopped
braying, shook off the dirt from his body, stepped on it, and
thereafter started to bray. This process continued for
sometime.

It so happened that as the donkey shook off the dirt
from his body, it got settled on the floor of the well and then
the donkey stepped on it. This made the floor of the well
come up higher and higher. The stepping up of the donkey
on the dirt made the donkey also come up higher and higher.

Seeing this, all the villagers started to throw dirt in the
well, which the donkey shook off his body, stepped on it,
and progressively came higher. Soon, the donkey stepped
out of the well.

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Problems kept unresolved invite more problems

Once upon a time, a monk was giving lessons to his
disciples on how to handle problems. He held up a stone in
his hand and asked his disciples, “What will happen if I hold
this stone for ten minutes?”

A disciple replied, “The arm will ache.”

The monk again asked, “What will happen if I hold it up
for an hour?”

A disciple replied, “The arm will ache very badly.”

The monk again asked, “What will happen if I hold it up
for a day?”

A disciple replied, “The arm will go numb.”

The monk again asked, “What will happen if I hold it up
for a month?”

A disciple replied, “The arm will be paralyzed.”

The monk further asked, “What should I do?”

A disciple replied, “You should put the stone down.”

The monk was pleased and putting down the stone, he
enlightened, “You should not prolong any problem. Solve it
at the earliest.”

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Time well-spent is life well-lived

Once upon a time, a grandson asked his grandfather,
“What is time?”

The grandfather replied, “Time is life.”

The grandson could not understand and so the
grandfather explained, “Life is the gift of God to you. Life
consists of breaths collectively known as your time. When
you have spent all your time, you die. Therefore time is life.”

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Sometimes a problem itself offers its own solution

Once upon a time, a monk along with his disciples were
journeying on a mountain. The road was narrow and due to
an avalanche, several boulders of various shapes and sizes,
were present on the road. They walked around the boulders
and proceeded along. Then they came across a massive
boulder that blocked the road, almost completely.

After thinking for a while, the monk thought of
climbing the boulder and thus, reach the other side of the
road. But they had no ropes or climbing gear. Then, the
monk studied the surface of the boulder, and thought of
taking advantage of the uneven contours of the boulder. At
depressions in the rock, he placed his toe and at risings in
the rock, he placed his fingers. Then he lifted himself up,
slowly. He repeated this utilizing several depressions and
risings, and finally reached the top of the big boulder.

As he had climbed, using his bare hands and feet,
similarly, he got down the boulder, again by taking advantage
of several depressions and risings. The disciples followed the
monk and all of them safely reached the other side.

Then the monk said, “A problem is like this boulder.
By studying the different aspects of the boulder, we were
able to notice depressions and risings on its surface. This
offered us a solution. Sometimes, problems can offer their
own solutions.”

Thereafter, the monk and the disciples proceeded on
their journey.

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Time should be spent happily without regrets

Once upon a time, after a gap of several years, two
friends accidentally met on the road. One friend had become
rich and the other friend was poor.

While both were talking, the poor friend noticed the watch
of his rich friend and said, “That’s a very expensive watch.”

The rich friend, not wanting to hurt the feelings of the
poor friend said, “All watches are same. They only show the
time.”

The poor friend regretfully replied, “Your watch shows
your time and my watch shows my time.”

While passing by, an old man overheard the conversation
and said, “At this moment, both the watches are only
showing that it’s time to be happy.”

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani