I recall reading a fable like story years ago. It went something like this:

A young business man constantly lost his pens. Every time he had to sign a deal or sign a cheque he could never find the pen he thought he just had. Because he was always losing his pens he directed his secretary to only buy cheap pens. This meant that the quality was also not reliable when he did have a pen. During a business meeting one day an older, wiser, man noticed that the young business man was constantly searching for his pen and that the pen he did find and use didn’t work properly. The wise man thought it was not presenting a good impression of the young man to the others in the meeting. 

Once the meeting was over the wise man stayed back and questioned the young man about the pen. After the young man explained his predicament of always losing pens the wise man suggested something that surprised the young man. He said, “With this new business deal in place I suggest you buy the very best pen your money can buy: a pen that will always work beautifully and one you can be proud of using to sign even bigger business deals; a beautiful Mont Blanc or similar.” The young man replied, “But I just told you that I keep losing pens all the time.” The wise man simply asked the young man to consider his suggestion. 

That night on the way home the young man worked past a pen and stationery shop, he stopped, turned and went in. A short while later the young man left with his very own, brand new, extremely expensive Mont Blanc pen set. 

Do you think the young man ever lost his Mont Blanc pen? Of course not. 

Whether this is a true story or a tall tale I love it as it’s a reminder to:

  1. Pay more considered attention to what is valued and how it’s treated and cared for: your work, your belongings, your family and friends, yourself!
  2. Quality over quantity is going to serve you well almost every time.
  3. Investing in quality is an investment in self which impacts confidence and that will contribute to boosting your self-leadership and productivity.


I’d love to know your thoughts…