Nov 2, 2013
The Little Red Hen is a story about getting back what you contribute, or so it seems.

The Little Red Hen wanted to make bread and asked her barnyard friends to help.

At each step from harvesting the wheat, to grinding it at the mill, to kneading the dough and baking the bread, she asksed her farmyard colleagues if they'd like to help.

"Not I," said the dog, pig, horse, cow, and anyone in ear shot to each request.

So naturally, when it was time to eat the bread, only the Little Red Hen and her kids got to partake in rewards.

Fair enough? Yes, but she missed an opportunity to educate, motivate, and encourage others in the process.

Imagine if instead, she had the dog help in a way he liked? Perhaps he could announce the bread making project or fetch ingredients. Maybe the horse could have helped at the mill? The cow could have brought milk. And so forth.

Barnyard and human colleagues might not like certain parts of the bread-making process, but a good leader would encourage others to help on ways they best can following the Midas Rule. For the menial tasks no one wants to do, the hen could have encouraged and incentivized participation with intermediate rewards, rather than the final bread at the very end of the projects.

There are so many ways to get a team to work together, resorting to a "I told you so" after-the-fact approach wasted everyone's time and an opportunity to share the bread-making love.
I believe the saying is, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."

No, absolutely not.

But by Midas Rule, you can...

  • Make your water the best water around
  • Find and bring thirsty horses to the water
  • Personalize the water drinking experience to the horse
  • Meet what needs the horse has and encourage the horse to tell other horses about the best, personalized water drinking experience that's great for thirst horses.
In a zero-sum, gift economy water-drinking environment, you can learn and share about horse behavior and water hole best practices to meet your mission of providing water to the horses.