A new manager spends a week at his new office with the manager he is replacing. On the last day the departing manager tells him, "I have left three numbered envelopes in the desk drawer. Open an envelope if you encounter a crisis you can't solve."
Three months down the track there is a major drama, everything goes wrong – the usual stuff – and the manager feels very threatened by it all. He remembers the parting words of his predecessor and opens the first envelope. The message inside says "Blame your predecessor!" He does this and gets off the hook.
About half a year later, the company is experiencing a dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. The manager quickly opens the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize!" This he does, and the company quickly rebounds.
Three months later, at his next crisis, he opens the third envelope. The message inside says "Prepare three envelopes".
An old man was on his death bed, and wanted to be buried with his money. He called his priest, his doctor and his lawyer to his bedside. "Here's $30,000 cash to be held by each of you. I trust you to put this in my coffin when I die so I can take all my money with me."
At the funeral, each man put an envelope in the coffin. Riding away in a limousine, the priest suddenly broke into tears and confessed, "I only put $20,000 into the envelope because I needed $10,000 to repair the roof of the church."
"Well, since we're confiding in each other," said the doctor, "I only put $10,000 in the envelope because we needed a new X-ray machine for the pediatrics ward at the hospital which cost $20,000."
The lawyer was aghast. "I'm ashamed of both of you," he exclaimed. "I want it known that when I put my envelope in that coffin, I enclosed a check for the full $30,000."