A very great friend and mentor shared this story with me and I decided to convert it in writing for all of us. You will definitely like it.
Once upon a time, the turtle and the rabbit had an argument about who is faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They both agreed on the route and started off at the same time and from the same spot. The rabbit shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then he realized that he was far ahead of the turtle. He decided to sit under a tree and relax before he continued. He sat there and soon he fell asleep. The turtle prodding on overtook him and finished the race ahead of him. The rabbit woke up later and realized that he had lost the race.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Slow and steady wins the race. The story doesn’t end there…
The Rabbit was very disappointed at himself for losing the race, he realized that he’d lost the race because he was over confident, careless and negligent. If he hadn’t taken things for granted, there’s no way the Turtle could have won against him. He did some quick thinking and challenged the turtle to another race. The turtle agreed and they both began on the same spot and at the same time. This time round, the rabbit shot ahead and raced from start to finish without stopping. He won undisputed and far much ahead of the turtle.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady. It’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable. The story doesn’t end there…
The turtle went and did some quick thinking. He realized that there’s no way he could win against the rabbit according to the way the race was formatted. He decided to challenge the rabbit to another race but with a slight modification on the route. The rabbit agreed. Again they both started off on the same spot and at the same time. With his self-made commitment to be consistent, the rabbit set off at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finish line was on the other side of the river. The rabbit just sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime, the turtle caught up with the rabbit at the banks of the river. He got into the river, swam to the other side and walked his way to victory.
MORAL OF THE STORY: First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency. The story still doesn’t end here…
The turtle and the rabbit by this time had become very good friends; they both did some thinking together. They both realized that the last race could have been done better. They decided to do the last race together. This time round, the rabbit carried the turtle on his back for the first part of the race (on dry land) and when they got to the river, the turtle carried the rabbit on his back and they both crossed over. The rabbit carried the turtle again on his back and they reached the finishing line, together. This time round the turtle and the rabbit had a greater sense of achievement than they had felt earlier.
MORAL OF THE STORY: It is indeed a good thing to be individually brilliant and to have 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. And my story sadly ends here.
If you apply this analogy in your studies, at work, in your relationships, in your family and everywhere else, you will definitely achieve better results.
By Obuogo Steve