A hare and a tortoise live in Kerala
They are good friends and like all good friends , sometimes have a dig at each other.
One day , in a light mood the hare ridiculed the tortoise for his slow pace. The tortoise reacted by challenging the hare for a race between "Angamali" and "Ernakulam" (places in Kerala). On the appointed day and time the two assemble at the starting line and start the race. The hare dashes off the start line like a flash. After crossing the midway mark, he feels that a short nap would do no harm. The short nap turned out to be a bit too long. Meanwhile the tortoise crosses the hare and reaches the destination. The hare wakes from the slumber,oblivious of the time, and dashes off towards the finish. To his dismay he finds the tortoise having a nap at the finish line.
The moral of the story is "Slow and steady wins the race."
The story does not end here.....
The hare goes home and soon understands that complacency and overconfidence were the reasons of his defeat. He vows not to repeat the mistake again. He then invites the tortoise for another race. The tortoise agrees to his friend's request.They meet at the appointed day and time at the starting point. The race starts. This time the hare dashes off to the finishing line without taking a break and wins the race comfortably.
The moral of the story is "Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. "
If you have two people in your organisation, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organisational ladder faster than the slow, methodical chap. It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better to be fast and reliable.
The story does not end here.....
The tortoise goes home and thinks hard. He was aware that the hare cannot be defeated in speed. He then ponders over his core competence. At last he finds a solution and invites the hare to another race. This time the course is changed. It is from "Angamaly" to "Perumbavoor." The hare agrees. At the appointed day and time the two meet at the start line and the race begins. The hare dashes off like a flash. Soon he arrives at the banks of river "Periyar" and is overwhelmed by a sense of dejection as he did not know how to swim. The tortoise comes to the bank , looks at the hare with sympathy and coolly gets into the water. He swims to the other side goes to "Perumbavoor" and comes back.
The moral of the story is "Core competence wins the race."
In an organisation, if you are a good speaker, make sure you create opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior management to notice you. If your strength is analysis, make sure you do some sort of research, make a report and send it upstairs. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.
Both the friends decide it was enough of racing against each other. Why not think hard and find a way by which they together could travel from "Angamali" to "Perumbavoor" at the minimum possible time. At the end of a brain storming session they come out with a solution and decide to try out the next morning. At the appointed time they meet at the starting line. The tortoise sits on the back of the hare. The hare dashes off form "Angamali" to the banks of "Periyar". There the hare gets on the back of the tortoise and the tortoise swiftly crosses the river. On reaching the other side the tortoise again sits on the back of the hare. The hare runs as fast as he can to "Perumbavoor". Thus they both reach "Perumbavoor" in the fastest possible time.
The moral of the story is "Innovation and team work wins the race"
It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well. Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership
There are more lessons to be learnt from this story. ....
Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as hecould. In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and putin more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.
The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.
To sum up, the story of the hare and tortoise teaches us many things. ....
Chief among them are :
That fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies; pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers; never give up when faced with failure; and finally, compete against the situation. Not against a rival.
In Short, BE STRATEGIC!