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The boss is always right

It was in 1502 that the egoistic mayor of Florence (Italy) Piero Soderini was under great pressure. He had appointed a novice to work on a giant piece of beautiful marble to make a sculpture under his guidance. Typical of many bosses Soderini had overestimated his own capabilities and by drilling a big hole in the middle of the block of marble Soderini and the novice had ruined it.

Soderini had to find a solution, and  finally commissioned Michelangelo to do a sculpture . Michelangelo agreed and using the available shape decided to sculpt a young David with a sling in his hand.

A few weeks later as the statue was finished, Soderini came to see the sculpture for himself. Soderini was pleased with what he saw. However like many patrons and bosses Soderini had to impose his ideas and have the last word. Soderini instructed Michelangelo to change the shape of the nose because it was too big.

Michelangelo grasped the situation immediately realising that Soderini was making this statement because of the position in which the latter stood in front of the statue. Nevertheless Michelangelo after a studied while nodded to Soderini his agreement. He climbed up the scaffold and on reaching the face picked up his chisel and hammer  and very discretely some marble dust in his fist. He went to the nose and appeared to start tapping his chisel at the nose while letting the collected marble dust slowly fall from his fist.

After a while of this charade Michelangelo moved Soderini to a vantage point to admire the statue and asked for an opinion from his patron. After a few minutes of examination Soderini congratulated Michelangelo for making a great improvement and in a voice filled with admiration said; “ I love it, you have made it come alive.”

All were pleased and everyone lived happily ever after.

Without any fuss, or compromise on the quality of his work Michelangelo provided Soderini the right and positive perspective thus appeasing Soderini and satiating his ego.

Though there are countless Soderins in the world there are comparatively few Michelangelos.
  • Manage, persuade and convince the boss, but never try to impose on the customer or the boss. The interaction is almost always unpleasant and the price heavy. (Boss can sometimes include a parent or spouse)  
  • The boss will inevitably look down upon an argument but always looks up to facts, and results.


  1. Hari Karra said;
    Thought the David you are referring to was created by Micheal Angelo
    Karra, Hari -

  2. Hari,

    You are right. This is such an embarrasing mistake. You know in the old days the messenger of bad news or finder of faults was rather severely dealt with.

    Thanks & God Bless

  3. Sam said;

    This is a very old trick and we all do it this way only.


  4. Gangadhar Joshi says;

    "If you are arguing with your BOSS with STATISTICS, FACTS & FIGURES, you MAY be RIGHT; If you are arguing with your boss on feelings, perceptions & emotions, the BOSS is always RIGHT."

    That explains the importance of DATA & STATISTICS.


  5. Anita Kalsi said;
    Very Nice Story.

  6. Priti Quinn said;
    I saw that ! its in front of the Uffizi in Florence.


  7. Arvind Gupta said;

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for your wonderfull and thoughtfull blogs. Pls also mail me at my personal e-mail adderss


  8. Rv Anand said;
    Dear Sir

    Your postings are SURE interesting

    thanks !!

  9. Dear Anand ji,

    Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.
    These simple words hold great value for me.

    Gurvinder Singh

  10. Madhu Pillai said;

    I remember meting you
    How have you been?

    Am glad to be able to read your article and I would love to keep on reading your articles.
    Many Thanks and regards

  11. Modhushree Babui said;

    Loved the article.
    I appreciate those who write , perhaps they are intellectually creative.

    Thanks & Regards

  12. Hello Modhushree,

    Though brief I enjoyed our interaction.

    Best Regards

  13. V Mona says;

    Absolutely! In fact women must be given this lesson before they encounter their mothers in law! :) Nice to read your blogs Gurvinder ...all the best!

  14. Col BSKS Chopra says;

    A nice article. Thanks.

  15. Dear Col,

    Sat Sri Akal.

    I hope you are keeping well and in good spirits.
    I am and always hav been inspired by you and your approach and your thinking.

    Thanks for your encouragement to my articles.

    Good Luck & God Bless.


  16. Chaitanya says;

    So very true!!

  17. Burzin says,

    Interesting. Thanks.
    I would have written earlier , but I am not keeping well.

    Kothawalla Burzin

  18. Lt. Gen Randhir Kumar Mehta,

    Dear Gurvinder,
    Thanks for the nice forward.There is lot of sense in it.I hope you are keeping good health.
    Best wishes to you and love.

    Randhir Kumar

  19. Rahul Barve said;

    Good morning Sir,

    Michelangelo truly handled the situation in a very tactful, skillful and intelligent manner.

    Thank you for sharing this article with me. Good day to you Sir.

    Best regards,



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