Business lessons through children's books

Business lessons through children's books

Hippopotamus Truth by Gwendolyn Gardner (
Business Lessons through Children's books

In these, "I need it yesterday times," companies can make promises, but not deliver. So, it's important to make sure you really can deliver before you make promises.

George and Martha, in The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall, reminds us all of a key business concept for success.

George, in his hippopotamus finest and most stately, sits down for tea with his friend Martha. "I used to be a champion jumper," he says.

Martha raises an eyebrow.

"And," says George, "I used to be a wicked pirate."

"Hmmm," says Martha.

At this point in the story, the reader realizes George is fibbing. He wants to impress Martha.

Just like, in our businesses, we want to impress our clients. We may think we can push the envelope and deliver stunning success in a fast turn-around- time, an extra quality product, or an extremely competitive price structure.

Hold on!

Do your homework? Work your numbers! Call your suppliers! --Before --you respond with an absolute answer.

George sees that Martha is not impressed---so he raises the bar. He says, "Once I was even a famous snake charmer!"

"Oh, goody," says Martha. She disappears and returns holding a giant snake!

"Eeeek!" cries George. He jumps out of his chair.

If you over promise in these times and cannot deliver, you may be caught in a worse position--without a happy client! Unhappy clients go to the competition, and may not speak nicely about you.

Martha says, "It's only a toy stuffed snake. I'm surprised a famous snake charmer is such a scaredy-cat."

George does come clean and says, "I told some fibs."

Martha replies, "For shame."

"But you can see what a good jumper I am," says George.

"That's true," says Martha.

George as a jumping hippopotamus is a stupendous sight as is--he should have told his hippopotamus truth in the first place.

Make sure you do too!

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