Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The $50 Dryer

A client of mine recently shared a story with me. 

  Back in 1980, her family was struggling financially. One day their clothes dryer died and they had very little money to purchase a new one. So she visited the local garbage dump that sold used appliances.  She found a medium size unknown brand dryer for $50. The owner of the dump said he could not guarantee that it would work, however he did state that the people who dropped it off said it was still in fine working condition.

She took their word for it.

That dryer served her family for the next five years. In 1985 the family moved and had to leave the dryer behind. The new family that purchased her home offered $100 for the used dryer; my client denied and took only $50. That same dryer served the new family for the next three years. In 1988 the new family was expanding with three new children and decided they needed a bigger dryer. So they took the used dryer back to the same junk yard. When the owner of the junkyard saw the dryer he said, “I remember that dryer, does it still work?” The new family said “Yes, it works fine.” The junk yard owner gave them $50.

When I first heard this story, several words went through my mind.  “trust” “honesty”  “ appreciation” , even “serendipity”.
When I read it through a couple more times, I had an “aha moment”. The common thread here is actually “leadership”. You do the same…read it through a few more times and you will also have an “aha moment”.

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