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An Interesting Management Lesson


A father left 17 Camels as Assets for his Three Sons. When the Father passed away, his sons opened the will. The Will of the Father stated that the Eldest son should get Half of 17 Camels. The Middle Son should be given 1/3rd of 17 Camels. Youngest Son should be given 1/9th of the 17 Camels.


As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, and get a whole number, the sons started to fight each other. So, they decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened patiently to the content of the Will. The wise man, after giving the matter some thought, brought one camel of his own and added it to the 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.


Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.


Half of 18 = 9.

So he gave 9 camels to the eldest son.


1/3rd of 18 = 6.

So he gave 6 camels to the middle son.


1/9th of 18 = 2.

So he gave 2 camels to the youngest son.


Now add this up:

9 + 6 + 2 = 17

This leaves 1 camel, which the wise man took back.


MORAL: The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult to do so some times.


However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!

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