All of us know about the race between the tortoise and the hair. The moral of the story was: Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
But the story continued… The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realized that he had lost the race only because he had been overconfident. So, he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare ran without stopping, from start to finish. He won the race by several meters.
The Moral of the story is changed – “Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.”
BUT the story did not end there. The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there is no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was formatted. He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly difference route. The hare agreed. They started off. The hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to broad river. The finishing line was on 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 and finished the race.
The Moral of the story changed yet again – “First identify your core competency and then choose the playing field.” Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed, but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.
BUT, The story still did not end… The hare and tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they dd some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started 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. They reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they had felt earlier.
Finally, the moral of the story was – It is good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you are able to work in a team and harness each other’s core competencies, you will always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you will do poorly and someone else does well.
To sum up, the changing story of the hare and tortoise teaches us many things –
- Never give up when faced with failure.
- The fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady.
- Work to your competencies.
- Compete against the situation, not against a rival.
- Pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers.