Jamie’s Fables: The Peacock and the Thorn
Those of you who have followed me for some time know that I like Aesop’s Fables. They are great ways of encapsulating lessons of life. I’ve been writing on how these lessons apply to lean transformation. You can see all of these examples here.
I decided instead of just borrowing from Aesop’s efforts, I should make a contribution myself. So here is the first installment of Jamie’s Fables. I’m not a creative writer, but I did my best. Don’t ask me when the next installment is out.
The Peacock and the Thorn
A proud peacock was strutting down the path. As he did, heads turned to look at his brilliance. As he was paying attention to everyone paying attention to him, he wasn’t paying attention to the path. The Peacock stepped on a thorn, which lodged itself in his foot.
Now the Peacock found it difficult to walk. He could not strut in any way, and was embarrassed to be seen in pain or struggling. A Mouse walked by and said “hello, how are you Peacock?” The Mouse could have pulled out the thorn with its teeth. But the Peacock responded “great” and so the Mouse moved on. A Hen walked down the path and said to the Peacock “hello, how are you?” The Hen could have plucked out the thorn with its beak. But the Peacock responded “wonderful”, embarrassed at his situation, and so the Hen moved on.
Suddenly, a Tiger appears around the bend of the path. The Tiger stops, expecting the Peacock to run off. But the Peacock cannot run with the thorn in his foot. The Tiger, seeing the Peacock unable to escape, chases him down and kills the Peacock.
Moral: A problem left unexposed cannot be resolved.
Artwork by my daughter Emma:
What can we learn from The Peacock and the Thorn. We shouldn’t worry about how we look while doing the right thing. Too much emphasis is placed on how things look – and I don’t mean our physical appearances. We worry about the words, the impressions. These matter, but only as they impact the end result. When we elevate these above the end results, organizations fall into stasis and no progress is made at all.
We can’t make progress on problems that are not visible. We must expose our problems, however ugly they might be, whether they be organizational problems, or our personal gaps and challenges. Perfection is not problem free.
Feedback on my first effort is welcome.