Two patients but which one needs treatment?

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Two patients but which one needs treatment?

An experienced doctor showed his young trainees two x-rays, one showing serious damage and deterioration to the hip and another showing only minor wear.  He asked “which of these x-rays belongs to my patient complaining of severe hip pain”?

The young doctors looked at each other as if the professor was thinking they were totally ignorant.  One of the more outward students replied “the one with the severe damage of course”.

“Wrong” said the professor, “the X-ray with the severe deterioration belongs to an athlete who is still extremely fit and complains of nothing. No it’s the hip with minor damage that belongs to a man who says that he is in a great deal of pain”.

This true story told to me recently by my brother-in-law made me think of the diversity I see among my clients. While some struggle against all odds to deliver what is required, without the slightest grumble, others seem to complain about everything that goes on, or does not go on within their organizations.

And if you want to ask me which is right and which is wrong, I cannot answer you. For who is to say that a patient has no reason to feel pain? And who is to say that the athlete in our story does not feel pain too?  The only difference I see is that one suffers pain and it is a problem for them while the other does not.

Life would be too easy if we could treat every situation in the same way, in fact it would also be very boring for people like me. I mean where is the challenge in overcoming something that does not necessarily need fixing?

Given a choice of clients, I might not go out of my way to choose one that complains of every disorder within their organization, but history has taught me that they sure are the ones where I learnt the most and spent the greater part of my professional career!

Have a good week,


2016-11-22T12:07:53+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

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