Keith wrote his first book!
It’s titled “Elephant Tales – mostly true stories about Entrepreneurs.” Think of it as a cross between Aesop, Peter Drucker, and Calvin and Hobbes (but not as good).
Keith’s used some of these stories over the years with clients as a Houston Business Mentor and a Small Business Coach to to illustrate points in business, strategy or human nature.
Here’s a sample.
THE ELEPHANT GOES HUNTING
The Elephant, having grown up in the days of the “Coke® vs. Pepsi®” wars, became enchanted by the brand impact and fierce loyalty engendered by mere “colored sugar water”. He decided he wanted to be part of that game and determined to develop the next great big drink.
So the Elephant spent countless days, weeks, and eventually months and years, creating different flavors and formulas, trying them out on his friends and anyone else who would taste them (sorry guys – the grass and bass drink was obviously a mistake).
One day, Eureka! The Elephant finally came up with his new drink. It had a sparkle in its appearance and a tinge to its taste. It tested well with pilot groups. His friends liked it. And he loved it.
He named it “Fresh.”
The Elephant wasted no time and spared no expense taking Fresh to market. His talented and experienced executive team quickly produced the large quantities needed to supply the many stores he expected would want Fresh on their shelves.
Finally Fresh was available.
The product launch began.
The Elephant waited for immortality.
But after the initial surge, demand quickly disappeared. Much of the remaining stock just remained on store shelves for weeks. Stores were calling demanding to return the inventory they had.
Fresh was a commercial flop.
The Elephant called his executive team together to brainstorm – to figure out what had happened, how to respond, and how to fix it. In a mad waving of his trunk, the Elephant accidentally knocked over an open bottle of Fresh and the drink spilled onto the surface of the conference table.
Then it happened.
Fresh rejuvenated the surface of the old conference table. Old scratches and water rings from countless abuse disappeared. The table gleamed with luster and beauty.
A few months later the tests had been done and the results in. A little Fresh simply applied with a cloth would completely restore wood surfaces, no matter how old, how severe, or how discolored. The entire executive team was ecstatic. The Elephant somewhat reluctantly went along.
The product was rebranded “Glow” and quickly repositioned as a miracle wood restorer. And the early reviews were spectacular. The executives were even able to get a meeting with Wally’s Market, the largest big box retailer in the world. They envisioned Glow on the shelf of every store in hundreds of countries.
The Elephant personally attended the meeting with his executives at Wally’s Market. The product demonstration was phenomenal, the price and supply questions were resolved quickly, and interest was high on both sides of the conference room table. The excitement of the Wally’s Market executives was only matched by that of the Elephant’s team. Visions of a breakout product, high units, and bigger profits were dancing in everyone’s head. Well, almost everyone.
As the meeting came to a close, with congratulations all around, the Elephant grabbed a bottle of Glow, opened it, took a deep drink, and said, “It tastes pretty good, too.”
1. What is the reason the Elephant wants to develop the “next great big drink”?
2. Do you think the Elephant used the same executive teams for his core business and for Fresh? What would be the benefit? What would be the disadvantages?
3. Why is it important to the Elephant that Glow taste good?
4. Did the Elephant ultimately succeed in his goal? And what was the goal?
“The stories, imbedded in “ELEPHANT TALES “, depict in a humorous way realistic encounters between CEOs and their Organizations. “ELEPHANT TALES” is a required read for any CEO interested in improving his/her leadership by understanding the relationship between the Elephants, the Ants, and the Mahouts. There is much wisdom between the lines of each story. CEOs skilled in understanding what these stories reflect are better prepared and more able to discern and focus on the appropriate courses of their Corporate Decision Making.”
A. “Butch” Madrazo, President and CEO of MMM Enterprises and Silver Fox Advisor
To order Elephant Tales in print or e-book from Amazon®
(what a cheap way to see how his mind works).