by Steven D Huff
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. During the night, Holmes awoke, nudged
his faithful friend and said, “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.” Watson replied,
“Sir, I see millions and millions of stars.” “And what does that tell you?” inquired Holmes. Watson
pondered for a minute, then answered. “Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and
billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the
time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is powerful and
creative. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why? What does it
tell you? Silent for a moment, Holmes finally replied, “It tells me someone has stolen our tent!”
This fun story illustrates how easy it is overlook the obvious. In business today, many people have
so fixed their eyes on a few old business axioms that they have missed the obvious changes in how
business should be done. These old axioms or business principles may or may not have ever been
true but are taught and practiced today as if they were. Let’s call these axioms what they really are.
Here are several modern business myths and their corresponding reality. . .
can wave a magic wand and customers will be well served. In reality, there will be no
customer service without well-cared-for, motivated employees. So instead of ranking
customers as more important than employees, try to establish equality. Invest in and serve
both as if each were the key to success.
bemoans the current labor crisis. In reality there is not a “labor” crisis, but a “turnover”
crisis. Business today can forget asking, “Are there enough people available to work?”
Instead ask, “Are there enough people available who want to work for us?” Make your
business a fun, challenging, reputable and caring place to work and you won’t have a labor
Chick-fil-A restaurants, made this observation, “We’ve gotten pretty good at teaching the
‘how-to.’ But we forgot about the ‘want to.'” The obvious lesson: knowledge and skill are
not nearly enough. In reality, workers must have the internal drive and motivation to
achieve their goals. Said another way, “Success doesn’t come from the ‘I.Q.’ alone. It also
requires the ‘I Will…'” Look for people with the “I will do my best” attitude and you’ll find
success is not far behind.