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Chapter 11. Let’s Make Steel > Focus On the Group’s Desired Outcomes, Not Indiv...

Focus On the Group’s Desired Outcomes, Not Individual Solutions

Focusing On the Outcome: A Parable

Two young sisters worked in the kitchen. Each said that she needed a lemon for her recipe. One sister was making pudding and the other a cake. Each recipe called for one lemon; but there was only one lemon to be had. They tried to decide who would get the one lemon. Each talked about how her need for the lemon was more important. Each threatened the other about what would happen if she did not get her way. Hours were wasted and they were not one step closer to deciding who should get the lemon. Finally, their mother arrived and asked each to explain the problem. One sister explained how she needed the juice of the lemon to make her lemon pudding. The other sister described how she needed the rind of the lemon to add to the lemon cake she was making. The mother listened carefully. She took the lemon, and grated the rind to get the zest and lemon essence of the peel for her daughter making the cake. Next, she cut the lemon in two and squeezed out the juice and gave it to her daughter making the pudding. One lemon was enough for everyone, once the desired outcomes were fully understood.


Several lessons can be learned from this story.


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