The Horse and the Coachman
“The Horse Does the Hard Work, But the Coachman Gets the Tip” Unknown
Ever since man discovered the importance of his environments to satisfy his needs, animals have been an indispensable segment of living. Our imagination has created value in every individual living body so important that we have never shuddered to draw on them as productivity enhancement agents. The animals, in return, have obligingly acceded to our impulses and wishes because they earned increasing care, concern and better feed. The arrangement has worked well thus far and leaves no cause for concern.
Remember the age of the horse-drawn carriages, anyone? In current, hectic living, these very ancient methods of the public carrier have transformed into a tourist attraction in almost every downtown hub of any given city around the world. The single stable through so many generations has been the demand and supply equation. The animal in question satisfies the coach owner’s obligation to earn a livelihood and provide for his household. In turn, he gets his personal demand for support met in a timely fashion.
On one side, the need serves as supply chain where the coach owner satisfies the impulses and fantasies of the visitors. He helps them travel back in time, and partake of the rich ride in relaxed surroundings. On the opposite, the animal appears as the delivery medium through his power to draw the coach.
The value generated by the expert navigation techniques of the Coachman guides the horse at every corner. It defends the animal against potholes and/or any other challenge/s. The horse cannot resolve on his own where to move and how. The Coachman cannot draw the coach on his very own, without the power of the animal.
By consolidating their abilities, and energies they set up a powerful team that includes both the muscle and the mind to match the patrons’ assumptions in delivering anticipated outcomes that both amuse and serve the keen tourists.
When the moment arrives for reward, the head of the team obtains the recognition of his/her power. The warriors confront the hostility but the officers take the decorations, the stars, and the promotions. Without skillful management, the dedicated soldiers would have become victims of conflict, not conquerors. It is the commandants’ leadership and efficient administration of stocks, logistics, and an essential insight to design fail-proof procedures that save the day!
The Coachman gets the reward because he addresses all the fundamental needs of the animal, furnishes the coach, creates the roadmap, keeps track of the persistent onset of sweltering sun, wailing winds, torrential downpours, and the raging snow squalls to protect the life of the animal. He puts on the line his individual happiness to take care of the animal through thick and thin. He continues to feed and tend to his horse even during the off-peak season when not making enough cash. He does not compromise on the horse’s feed just because he did not get enough clients. These traits help set up a two-way relationship of reciprocal confidence, and admiration.
The eternal wisdom preserved in the dictum ‘one hand washes the other’ meets this situation in all its splendor as they both act complementary to each others' needs and desires in proper form.
The same holds true in a family environment in no less an imposing manner. The head of the family helps maintain order and watches for everyone’s best interest so each individual can derive maximum value. While the older family members bring in the money to provide for daily necessities, the younger ones complement their efforts by meeting their own individual obligations in the desired fashion. This arrangement helps build a sense of unity as well as cultivate and nurture a sense of responsibility towards each other. No wonder, the head of the family deserves appreciation for the conduct of the family as also its achievements.
When you look at an organization, no matter whether commercial, for-profit, non-profit, or government, quasi-government or a global body of multiple governments working together towards a common goal, the head of the organization is instrumental in setting the path for the future. It is his/her vision, conviction, experience/s as well as resoluteness that determine success and/or failure in achieving the desired objectives. One wrong step or lack of timely directives could potentially result in huge, irreversible damage on the whole.
While the role of the individual at the head of the organization can never be undermined, the individual assignment/s for the followers, the management team and/or member nations are no less crucial to their combined success. Their failure to follow the set path and/or refusal to keep forging ahead in the given direction will never amount to anything valuable.
The above scenario lays a lot of emphasis on the cohesiveness as well as mutual dependability of both the components in a given equation. These components represent the leader and the follower. The C.E.O. and his/her team of management executives that oversee proper functioning of the organization present a valid example. The head of the family and all other family members, the guide and the learner, the teacher and the student, as well as the advisor and the disciple, are just some more examples that help justify the bonds of mutual reliance same as the horse and the coachman. Until and unless they all agree to work in tandem, the result will be nothing more than a complete chaos.
P.S. It would be an honor as well as a privilege for me to get your valuable feedback on the foregoing and/or any other of my columns. It is the intellectual and discriminating readers that inspire authors to delve deeper, think harder, and then produce value through their writing!