Once upon a time a Turtle and a Rabbit had an argument about who was faster.
They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on a route and started off the race. The rabbit shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the turtle, he thought he’d sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The turtle plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The rabbit woke up and realized that he’d lost the race.”
The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race….is that end of story??..
The rabbit was disappointed at losing the race and he 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 turtle could have beaten him. So he challenged the turtle to another race. The turtle agreed. This time, the rabbit went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.
Now Moral of the Story … Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. It’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable.
The turtle did some thinking this time, and realized that there’s no way he can beat the rabbit in a race the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while, and then challenged the rabbit to another race, but on a slightly different route. The rabbit agreed.
They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the rabbit took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of
kilometers on the other side of the river. The rabbit sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the turtle trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.
One more moral of the story…First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.
The rabbit and the turtle, 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 a team this time. They started off, and this time the rabbit carried the turtle till the riverbank. There, the turtle took over and swam
across with the rabbit on his back. On the opposite bank, the rabbit again carried the turtle and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they’d felt earlier.
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.
To sum up, the story of the rabbit and turtle teaches us many things.
(1) Fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady;
(2) Work to your competencies
(3) Pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers;
(4) Never give up when faced with failure
(5) Compete against the situation – not against a rival.