David C. Zubler on Patterns and Habit, via Parable

Last week I wrote about worry, and this week … well, the summer is fully upon us, and as things get hotter, some days I come into the office and with the intensity of the heat causing sleepiness, I occasionally find myself a little stuck.

Can you relate?

You see, I’m a creature of habit, and over the course of the summer, I can find myself repeating patterns over weeks and months. Eventually, these patterns can become codified firm policy around here.

But innovation requires that even staid tax practices be willing to think outside the ol’ proverbial box.

Which, of course, is one of the reasons why I started blogging for my clients and friends in this way some time ago. Which has really done wonders for us … being able to communicate in a conversational, coherent way with our people has been really fun.

(Yes, I know blogging isn’t exactly “new” … but I like to think we do it a little differently than the norm.)

Anyway, I was reminded of all of this by the following parable that I came across. Maybe it will help you too?

David C. Zubler on Patterns and Habit, via Parable
“Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” -David Maxwell

A small brewery launched a fancy microbrew. It proved to be very popular–so popular, in fact, that they were having trouble getting it distributed to all the stores and bars in the area. The management team met to discuss the problem.

“Here’s the schedule,” said the manager in charge of distribution. “You can see that we have our biggest shipments on Monday and Tuesday, and then smaller ones Wednesday and Thursday, and all the local deliveries on Friday.”

“We’ll have to change that,” the CEO said, “but we’d better find out why it’s scheduled that way.”

The team couldn’t find any logical explanation for the schedule, which had endured over the years, until they reached a former distribution manager, long-retired, whose grandfather had co-founded the company. He thought for a while, then said:

“Yes, I remember. When we started out, all our deliveries were made by horse-drawn wagons. On Mondays and Tuesdays, when the teams were rested, they could pull a big load, but on Wednesdays they started to get tired, and by Friday they could only make it a few blocks. So we set the schedule that way.”

Let’s all commit to remembering WHY we do what we do … and not let our methods get in the way of our mission.

I’m grateful for your trust, and for your referrals.


David C. Zubler