THE ELEPHANT AND THE DEER (an Elephant Tales story)

As the Elephant’s company continued to grow, he noticed his team of ants struggle to keep up with the volume of work.  The ants worked hard, and he hired new ones as fast as possible, but the higher volumes and faster turnarounds seemed beyond the ants’ skill and experience.

The Elephant decided to hire a new team of executives with experience in managing a larger and fast-growing company. So he decided to hire deer. You know, young bucks.

The Elephant was so excited he even installed salt licks in the break rooms.

The new executives came into the company and got to work.  They reviewed the current processes and procedures, identified weaknesses and made changes to improve performance.   The Elephant was thrilled.

Then the deer went to work on new ideas.

The deer in charge of sales and marketing met with the Elephant and pitched a promotion to tie in the Elephant’s products with a major golf tournament.

“I don’t play golf”, said the Elephant, declining the request.

The credit and collections deer and the Chief Financial deer presented a plan for flexible payment terms and credit limits to increase the customer’s ability to buy seasonal goods.

“I’m not a bank,” said the Elephant.

The deer in charge of manufacturing met with the Elephant to discuss speeding up production with the aid of a redesigned shop floor and new equipment.

“That’s not how we do things here,” said the Elephant, and sent the deer on his way.

A couple of years later the Elephant watched the facilities manager remove the last of the salt licks from the break rooms.

“Hmmm,” thought the Elephant.  “I guess experience is not all it is cracked up to be.”



You are the expert in the way things are.
You hire expertise for the way things ought to be.


This story is excerpted from “Elephant Tales – Mostly True Stories About Entrepreneurs,” available from

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