A man wishing that his camels be divided among his three sons, left instructions for the 1st to receive half, the 2nd to receive a third, and the 3rd to receive a ninth.  When he died, he left them a total of 17 camels to be divided per his instructions.

The sons, not wanting to actually “divide” a camel, did not know how to do this, so they sought the counsel of the wise woman in their village.  She didn’t know how to do this either, so she gave them one of her own camels. 

The 1st son took his half, half of 18 = 9 camels.

The 2nd son took his third, a third of 18 = 6 camels.

And the 3rd son took his ninth, a ninth of 18 = 2 camels.

9 + 6 + 2 = 17 camels.  And, with one left over, they gave the extra camel to the wise old woman.

Thus begins Dr. Ury’s talk:  The Walk from “No” to “Yes”  He has spent the majority of his career looking for the 18th camel, and has contributed that talent to difficult negotiations around the globe.

I first met Dr. Ury during grad school and recently read about him on Simon Sinek’s blog, and if you don’t know either of them, you have such a pleasure in store!

Dr. Ury’s books:  Getting to Yes,  Getting Past No,  The Power of a Positive No,  The Third Side

Simon Sinek’s book:  Start with Why


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