Guys…we have been listening to the story of a hare and a tortoise from our childhood but ever heard of the complete story of a hare and a tortoise?? Here goes the whole story of it…..
Once upon a time, in a field not too far from you, there was an energetic and happy hare and a sleepy tortoise.
The tortoise liked to sit and munch his dinner slowly, whilst the hare would gobble up his dinner and run round and round the tortoise until he was dizzy.
One day, they had an argument…
“I am the fastest animal in the whole wide world,” said the hare. “I’m faster than a cheeky cheetah, a kicking kangaroo and a racing rabbit,” he boasted.
“Oh, do be quiet,” sighed the tortoise. “You are so full of yourself! If you’re not careful you’ll come to a sticky end…”
“Where’s sticky and then,” asked Noel. “Is it far from here?”
The tortoise rolled his eyes and carried on munching on some tasty lettuce leaves.
“Oh, you two do stop arguing,” said a blackbird as he flew past.
“No, this is serious,” said the hare. “I will prove to you all that I’m the fastest animal in the whole wide world“
The hare laughed his head off.
“Just you wait and see,” said the tortoise. “I’ll get the wise old owl to organize a race for us…”
The wise old owl arranged the race for the next day. All the animals in the field put on their best clothes, groomed their fur, picked up a flag to wave and got ready to cheer the tortoise and the hare on.
“On your marks… Get set… Go!” Called the wise old owl… And the race was off!
Slowly, slowly the tortoise set off and quickly, quickly the hare raced off and soon he was out of sight. In fact, he was so far ahead that, when he looked back, the tortoise was nowhere to be seen
“Gosh,” the hare thought. “I’ve more or less won all ready! I think I’ll just have a little nap under this tree, it’s such a hot day”. The hare was soon fast asleep.
Meanwhile, the tortoise ambled along slowly enjoying the sun on his shell and taking the odd nibble of grass from time to time. On and on and on and on and on and on he plodded. He plodded past the oak tree, he plodded past the bridge, he plodded past the cow shed, he even plodded past the hare who was still snoring under the tree. He plodded on until he came to the finishing line where the wise old owl and all the other animals in the field were gathered. All the animals clustered around the tortoise cheering and shouting:
“Well done! Well done! You’re the winner!”
All the noise woke the hare up with a start.
“Oh my! Oh my! What’s going on? What’s all that noise? Never mind. I’d better finish the race, then I can go and have my dinner,” he thought.
Noel the hare raced off down the hill towards the finishing line. But when he got there, to his horror, he saw the tortoise with a gold winner’s medal around his neck.
“This can’t be right! He must have cheated,’ cried the hare. “Everyone knows I’m faster than him!”
“The tortoise didn’t cheat,” said the wise old owl. “He has won fair and square. Slowly and surely, never giving up, the tortoise passed the finishing line first. Sorry hare, but you’ve lost this race. Let that be a lesson to you – slow and steady wins the race!
The hare looked very unhappy and sulky. The tortoise felt sorry for him and tried to cheer him up…
“Cheer up, it was only a race,” the tortoise said. “I’m sure you’ll win the next one. And I’d rather we were still friends than win every race under the sun.”
And from that day on they became the best of friends and the hare never boasted again.
The moral of the story is “slow and steady wins the race”
But then, recently someone told a more interesting version of this story. It continues…!!!
The hare was disappointed at losing the race and did some soul-searching. He realized that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there’s no way…!! The tortoise could have beaten him…!!
So, he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed..!!
This time, the hare has gone all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.
The moral of the story is that… “Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady”
If you have two people in an organization, one slow, methodological and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at the what he does. The fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organizational ladder faster than the slow, methodological chap…!!
It’s good to be fast and slow but it’s better to be fast and reliable. But the story doesn’t end here… It continues…!!
The tortoise has done some thinking this time, and realized that there’s no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted.
He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed…!!
They started it off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran to a top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometers away from the other side of the river!!!
The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race…!!
The moral of the story is that… first identify your core competency and then….
Change the playing field to suit your core competency…!!!
But the story still doesn’t end here… It continues…!!
The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the last race again…!! But to run as team this time..!!
They start off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the river bank..!!
There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back!!
On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together,…!!
The moral of the story is that….
It’s good to have an individually brilliant and to have strong competencies… And someone else will do well..!! But unless you are 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…
Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation.. Take leadership…!!
In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in 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 !!