Time For A Break?

I love reading and think that books and stories can be a great tool when training management, communication or sales.

I revisited a great book today by an author called Nick Owen called the Magic of Metaphor and came across a story that I used to quote from. 

This is a great story for those days…. you know the ones… when there’s just not enough hours in the day!!


You may have seen it on TV, or heard about it on the radio, or read about it in the newspaper, but recently the annual world logging championship was held in British Columbia. The Two finalists were Canadian and a Norwegian.

Their Task was straightforward. Each had a sector of the forest. Whoever could fell the most timber between eight o’clock in the morning and four o’clock in the afternoon would be the winner.

At 8 0’clock sharp the whistle blew and two lumberjacks set to with attitude. It seemed that they chopped stroke for stroke until ten to nine the Canadian heard the Norwegian stop. Sensing his chance, the Canadian redoubled his efforts.

At nine o’clock the Canadian heard Norwegian start chopping again. Once more it seemed as if they chopped stroke for stroke until ten to ten the Canadian heard Norwegian stop. Again the Canadian continued, determined to make the most of his opponents weakness.

At the stroke of 10 o’clock, the Norwegian begun cutting again. Until ten to eleven, the Norwegian paused once more. With a growing sense of confidence, the Canadian sensed victory, and continued in his steady rhythm.

And so it went on for the whole day, every hour at ten to the hour the Norwegian stopped and the Canadian would continue. When the whistle blew to finish the contest at four o’clock in the afternoon the Canadian was supremely confident that the prize was his. 

You can imagine how surprised he was to discover that he had lost ‘how did you do that?’ he asked Norwegian. ‘Every hour at ten to the hour I heard you stop. How the hell you are able to cut more timber than? It’s just not possible.’

‘It’s really very simple’, said the Norwegian bluntly.’Every other at ten to the hour I stopped. While you continued to cut I was sharpening my axe’.

2 Responses to “Time For A Break?”

  1. jayne
    July 20, 2011 at 13:23 #

    very good xx

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