The unable appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.
A traveler stopped to observe the curious behavior of a farmer who was plowing his field. A single mule hitched to the plow was wearing blinders, and the farmer was yelling, “Giddyap, Pete! Giddyap, Herb! Giddyap, Ol’ Bill! Giddyap, Jeb!”
After watching the farmer carry on like this for a while, the traveler asked, “Say, mister—how many names does that mule have?” “Just one—his name is Pete.” “Then why do you call out Herb and Bill and—”
“It’s like this,” explained the farmer. “If Ol’ Pete knew he was doing all this work alone, I couldn’t make him do it. But if he thinks he’s got three other mules workin’ alongside of him, he does the whole job all by himself.”
“What a marvelous idea!” exclaimed the traveler. And when he got back to his corporate office in
, he invented the committee. New
G. Campbell Morgan
While he always kept abreast of the activities of the church, Campbell Morgan detested committee work. He told a friend, “I would prefer to preach three sermons a day rather than spend half an hour at a deacon’s meeting discussing who ought to keep the keys to the door.”
The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, W. Wiersbe, p. 209
The next time a committee is appointed and the committee names several task forces to do its job, think of this story:
To highlight its annual picnic one year, a company rented two racing shells and challenged a rival company to a boat race. The rival company accepted. On the day of the picnic, everyone entered into the spirit of the event. Women wore colorful summer dresses and big, floppy hats. Men wore straw skimmers and white pants. Bands played and banners waved. Finally the race began. To the consternation of the host company, the rival team immediately moved to the front and was never headed. It won by 11 lengths.
The management of the host company was embarrassed by its showing and promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team’s chances in a rematch the following year. The committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race. They met for three months and issued a preliminary report. In essence, the report said that the rival crew had been unfair.
“They had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beat,” the report said. “We had one person rowing and eight coxswains.” The chairman of the board thanked the committee and sent it away to study the matter further and make recommendations for the rematch. Four months later the committee came back with a recommendation. “Our guy has to row faster,” it said.
Bits and Pieces,
September 19, 1991, pp. 5-6