This book aims to present simple, abosorable solutions or paths to solutions for seemingly huge challenges. The author, Spencer Johnson, relays a message in a clear and simple way that makes us better decision-makers and adapters and opening an individual likelihood and better communication through the lessons the characters had to experience. The four main lessons are: anticipating change, adapting to change, being complacent, and blaming others where you are in life. While the author used real life challenges, this book is nonetheless beneficial for military leaders because the lessons learned also apply to military officership.
The story includes four characters living in a maze: Scurry and Sniff mice, and Hem and Haw, two “little people.” Everything goes well because they found an enormous source of their favorite food, which is cheese. Hem and Haw moved their homes and the cheese became the center of their lives. The “little people” did not notice their source of food was getting smaller, and when they arrive to their house, they were devastated.
Sniff and Scurry adapted quickly once they have loosed the cheese and searched for other sources into the maze. Hem and Haw feel that they are the victim of fraud or theft because they have built their lives around the huge cheese. However, this only makes things worse, as their attachment make them hungry. In the meantime, the mice are moving on and finding new cheese.
One of the lessons the book has covered is anticipating change. One should never get to comfortable in their current situation because things can always change no matter how well you plan, somethings can be out of you control.
You should never rely on things being too continuous because life can give you unfortunate news. For instance, the little people changed their lives and the cheese became the focus of their lives. Once, the cheese has disappeared, they were upset.
Another lesson the author has exposed in the story is adapting to change. When adjusting to change you must let go of old concepts and adapt to new ones. In the story, Haw finds new type of cheese in the maze, which he brings to Hem. Hem refuses to eat it because he has not adapted to the change and was accustomed to the old type of cheese. Accepting change can be a positive outcome. For instance, the two mice left once they have realized they are low on the supply of cheese and went off to discover new cheese.
The next lesson Spencer Johnson has implied is being complacent. Staying alert prepares you for the expected changes that will come. Scurry and Sniffy, were mentally ready to discover more cheese as they anticipated change. On the other hand, Hem and Haw became complacent and ingrained in their old routines because they were successful in finding the big supply of cheese prior to change and was not monitoring the change that was approaching.
The last lesson shown through the characters is blaming others where you are in life. People tend to slowly claim things that do not belong to them. They blame everything but themselves for their problems when things become difficult. They act as if they had a right to something, they did not have an entitlement to. For example, once the “little people” realized the cheese was gone, they decided to stay because they were hoping the cheese will show up again. They get bitter and accuse everything but themselves. They thought they were entitled to the enormous supply of cheese they have found. In contrast, the mice did not complain about the cheese disappearing and went to go discover new cheese.
The lessons implied in the book also applies to leaders in today’s Army. As a leader in the Army, we should manage our own weakness and protection from change. Recognize that our way of experiencing endings and new beginnings will influence our work, the boss, peers, and subordinates. Some leaders tend to get complacent which results in laziness and are used to the old ways.
I think the author achieved his intent with this book very well and realistic. It is one of those unusual work of art. Cheese is essentially about tackling the challenge of change in our everyday lives. I believe what was most valuable in the book was the metaphor of the cheese and how we should always anticipate, monitor, and adapt to change. There are people who depend on things to be constant and are afraid of change.
The cheese projects to be a symbol for anything we pursue in life that we accept will satisfy us. The author portrays the trials and inconveniences we have throughout everyday life. As throughout everyday life, the characters are never certain why the cheese is placed in the maze, nor the supply of the cheese. At the point when the characters are suddenly challenged with change, simply like we are throughout everyday life, some are prepared, and others are most certainly not. These challenges also apply to leaders in the Army today.
Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life. New York: Putnam, 2002; 1998. Print.