A Stake in the Ground

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

The Elephant: I guess that most of you know the story that describes how a fully-grown elephant is kept in place by a relatively small spike in the ground. Simply stated, an elephant baby is steaked to the ground with a substantial stake, chain, and ankle cuff. The baby elephant isn’t able to pull the steak up or break the chain, and after wearing itself out by trying, it learns that it is useless to tug at the restraint. An adult elephant could easily pull that steak out of the ground or break the chain—without even trying. But the elephant remembers the lesson, so when the chain gets taught, the elephant stops tugging. Having a memory like an elephant isn’t always a useful thing!

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