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Business advice from Dr Seuss

August 8th, 2017

Written by Katy Winship

If you haven’t read a Dr. Seuss book have you even grown up? There are many morals to learn from Dr Seuss so here are a few quotes that we can apply to achieving in business:

“Up on top you are seeing great sights,but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights”

This quote is from the book ‘Yertle the Turtle’. In the book Yertle uses other turtles to get to new heights (literally by standing on them). The bottom turtle asks Yertle to rest, however Yertle keeps adding more and more turtles. This soon backfires and they topple over flinging Yertle into ‘King of the Mud’ status, falling from his position of ‘King of the Turtles’.

This quote associates with the relationship that managers have with their workers and declares that trampling on others to get to the top simply isn’t on. Take note from the wise Dr who advises that you can’t sacrifice the happiness of others for you to be at the top of your game. If you do you will fall very far from grace and achieve unhappiness. Basically, treat every worker with the same level of respect if you want to go places.

“Your tail is just right for your kind of bird.”

'Gertrude McFuzz' is about a bird who wants to be like another bird who has more tail feathers. Gertrude finds a berry which makes her tail grow, however she gets too greedy and eats them all. Her tail then gets too big for her to handle, which causes her to become unable to fly and walk.

So what can we learn from this story? It seems that greed got the best of Gertrude and she became too big for her boots. In business we all want to be the best but perhaps we have to be realistic about our goals. We should try not to be be too ambitious and greedy with our targets as we could just end up falling flat on our faces. Be happy with your lot and don’t let greed get the better of you.

“A host has to put up with all kinds of pests, for a host, above all, must be nice to his guests”

In this Dr Seuss book, “Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose”, Thidwick has a hard time saying no to people. This causes the other animals to take advantage of Thidwick’s kindness.

In business we too sometimes have to put up with things that we consider a pest- the term the “customer is always right” is one that many might disagree on but, regardless of this, often the business and the workers within have to concede, suck it up and put up with things that are hard to tolerate. People will always try to take a mile when you give an inch though so it’s about getting the balance right and putting limitations in place. You CAN be nice but firm.

“Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don't. Because, sometimes, you won't.”

“Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” is a book is about a protagonist who is referred to as “you” and is being spoken to by the narrator of the book. When it’s read the reader is “you”. The story is inspirational and suggests that anybody can do whatever they want and walk in any direction they choose.

This line is great because event though the book suggests that you can do anything and be whoever you want to be it also is realistic and wise. Sometimes you won’t win and be the best and sometimes you will. This line teaches that there’s no shame in not winning as long as you’re doing your best.

“Oh, the sea is so full of a number of fish, if a fellow is patient, he might get his wish!”

This line is from “McElligot's Pool”, a Seuss book about a boy fishing in a small pool which is full of junk. Even though a farmer tells the boy he is being a fool he perseveres and doesn’t lose hope. The book is about the boy’s imagination of what he might catch.

It’s a great line because of its optimistic nature and great work ethic. The truth is that achievements need to be achieved and for something to be achieved it takes time and patience. Basically, be patient and work hard and you will reap the rewards.