The Cobbler and The General

A practical analogy for 2023.

The Cobbler and The General

Susan Cain shared a great story that Mark Twain once told, in her book, 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' - that is well worth recounting.

The story of The Cobbler and The General

'Mark Twain once told a story about a man searching for the world's greatest general.

The man searched his whole life until one day he died and met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

The man told St. Peter he was looking for the world's greatest general. Fortunately, St. Peter said he could help. He led the man to another part of heaven and introduced him as the world's greatest general.

The man who had been searching replied, "That's not the world's greatest general. That man was a cobbler on Main street in my hometown!"

St. Peter responded, "But had he been a general, he would have been the greatest general ever."'


What is it then that stopped this simple town cobbler from rather being the greatest general ever?

What prevented him from reaching his full potential as a human being?

One can only guess that the man limited is own potential because of the story that he told himself, and ultimately internalised to be true.

The Cobbler and The General is a simple parable about our assumptions and limiting worldviews that prevent us from achieving higher levels of impact in the world; and an analogy worth retelling and thinking deeply about as we start to consider the impact that we might create and enjoy in 2023.  

Are you heading into 2023 as a modest cobbler, or are you really a powerful General taking command of your own destiny and operating at the very highest-level of your calling?


Previously:

2023 is going to be a great year?
Future-fit organisations have never had it better.