169 – Model beneficial behaviours

Posted by  Anecdote International —November 22, 2022
Filed in Anecdotes, Podcast

Model the behaviours that will benefit your entire team. Listen to hear how Captain James Cook saved his crew from scurvy.

Rob joins Shawn again this week and hears Shawn tell a story about Captain Cook, scurvy and sauerkraut, which Shawn found in The Status Game by Will Storr.

The story may sound familiar to our regular listeners, as Shawn also told it in episode 138 – Scurvy sailors served sauerkraut. But Rob and Shawn’s discussion differs from Mark and Shawn’s in the earlier episode. You’ll hear the story teamed with different business points and the pair sharing additional anecdotes.

Shawn also mentions the Cautionary Tales podcast.

For your story bank

Tags: behaviour change, behaviours, leadership, persuasion, status, value

This story starts at 02:11

Between the 1500s and 1800, scurvy caused the deaths of some two million sailors. It was a dire problem of the time, caused by a lack of vitamin C, for which they tried all sorts of remedies, including sauerkraut.

In 1769, Captain James Cook and his crew departed for the South Pacific. He took along 8,000 pounds of sauerkraut, a rich source of vitamin C, so if he could get everyone to eat it, there would be no problems.

But Cook knew he would struggle to get the British sailors to eat sauerkraut. So, when they set off, he made it available only at the Captain’s table, accessible only to him and his officers.

Soon word got out that the Captain and his officers were enjoying it. It didn’t take long for the rest of the crew to request their share.

Cook wrote in his diary, “The moment they saw their superiors set a value upon it, it became the finest stuff in the world.”

He made the sauerkraut available to everyone, and it became so popular that they had to ration it. Throughout the multi-year voyage, there were no cases of scurvy.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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