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Bosideon Consulting

Why Bother? I'm Winning

By Charlie Wilson
Monday, February 11, 2019

Axe and wood cuttingsThe format of the annual log-chopping competition was very straightforward. The two best lumberjacks were selected by acclaim. Each had a pile of logs and an axe, and was separated from the other by a canvas screen.

Whoever finished chopping their pile of logs first won. On the whistle, John started steadily, pacing himself. Over the cheering of the crowd he could hear Mike, on the other side of the screen, swinging at about the same rate. After about an hour, John heard Mike stop. "He's resting", thought John, "Good tactic, but I'm still feeling strong so I am going to press on." Five minutes later, John heard Mike start again.

An hour later, another five-minute break by Mike. "I've got him now", thought John and increased his pace. This continued throughout the morning. John swung harder and faster, sweat, breath and chips of wood flying. He heard Mike stop for about the fifth or sixth time and, with a grin of anticipation, he glanced at his remaining pile of logs.

But this time a whistle sounded and the canvas screen was pulled back to reveal that Mike had finished - he had won easily. John, in a daze, walked over and shook Mike's hand. "Congratulations", he said, "When I heard you stopping for a rest every hour, I thought I was going to win easily"."Rest?", said Mike, "I was sharpening my axe."

With thanks to Jeremy Holt of the Centre for Team Excellence

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