One of my very good friends leads a top performing sales organization selling financial services out of Boise Idaho. His team is consistently rated as the top producing office in North America for his company. We are always exchanging ideas on selling, challenging each other on philosophies and suffice it to say, his past performance has always caused me to listen intently to what he has to say.
I have no idea if the story he told me is true or not. He has played a practical joke or two in his day. Short of travelling to Africa, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Even if there is a bit of embellishment to the story, it is a great tell with an insightful message.
In Africa, as Charles tells it, the natives have a clever way to catch monkeys. They take a coconut shell, cut a small hole in one end, and hollow it out. The hole is just big enough to allow a monkey’s hand to enter.
Then they attach a string to the other end of the coconut shell, place some peanuts inside, put the shell in the middle of a clearing and hide themselves behind a tree until a monkey comes.
The monkey smells the peanuts inside the shell … it reaches in to grab the peanuts … but when it does, its fist, full with peanuts, is too large to pull back through the hole.
The natives start pulling on the string and reel the silly monkey in. Why, because the monkey will not let go of those peanuts to save his life. All the monkey would have to do is let go of the peanuts. He doesn’t, as he has to have the peanuts.
I’m thinking there may be some truth to his story. I did a Google search “catch a monkey using a coconut” and found one hit on a bladder cancer website that included an article on relaxation that references an African legend, where they do they catch monkeys using coconuts with a banana inside. Seriously!