1. Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. The tortoise and hare both agreed on a route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, 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 tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realized that he'd lost the race.
The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with.
2. But then recently, someone told me a more interesting version of this tortoise and hare story. It continues.
The hare 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 tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed.
This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.
The moral of the story? Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. If you have two people in your organization, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organizational ladder faster than the slow, methodical chap.
It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better to be fast and reliable.
3. But the story doesn't end here. The tortoise did 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. The tortoise and hare started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare 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 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? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.
In an organization, if you are a good speaker, make sure you create opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior management to notice you.
If your strength is analysis, make sure you do some sort of research, make a report and send it upstairs. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed, but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.
The story still hasn't ended.
4. The tortoise and hare, 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 the tortoise and hare decided to do 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 riverbank. 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. Both the tortoise and hare felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier.
The moral of the story? 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.
There are more lessons to be learnt from this inspirational teamwork story.
Note that neither the tortoise nor hare gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure.
The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could. 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 tortoise and hare also learnt another vital lesson in teamwork. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.
When Roberto Goizueta took over as CEO of Coca-Cola in the 1980s, he was faced with intense competition from Pepsi that was eating into Coke's growth. His executives were Pepsi-focused and intent on increasing market share 0.1 per cent a time. Goizueta decided to stop competing against Pepsi and instead compete against the situation of 0.1 per cent growth.
He asked his executives what was the average fluid intake of an American per day? The answer was 14 ounces. What was Coke's share of that? Two ounces. Goizueta said Coke needed a larger share of that market. The competition wasn't Pepsi. It was the water, tea, coffee, milk and fruit juices that went into the remaining 12 ounces. The public should reach for a Coke whenever they felt like drinking something.
To this end, Coke put up vending machines at every street corner. Sales took a quantum jump and Pepsi has never quite caught up since.
To sum up, the story of the hare and tortoise teaches us many things. Chief among them are that fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies; pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers; never give up when faced with failure; and finally, compete against the situation, not against a rival.
Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.
When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.
The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've every had.
It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.
Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone. Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.
There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real! Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.
Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
Greetings from Shabbar Suterwala.
Here is a short story to understand the Pain and Gain Principle. Trust this will help us to understand the difference between the two and help us overcome pains in our lives.
Story – Become a Lake
The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. "How does it taste?" the Master asked. "Terrible," replied the boy.
The Master then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the guy swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man said, "Now drink the water from the lake."
As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?" "Good!" remarked the boy. "Do you taste the salt?" asked the Master. "No," said the young man.
The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said," The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the 'pain' depends on the container we put it into.
So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things.....
What is required is to change our paradigm and make a shift in our focus. Too often we are more focused only on the gain, and miss out on the gain.
Stop being a glass. Become a lake! Failure doesn't mean when we fail, but when we don't want to come up again.
Let us sit down and make a List of all our Pains. Also, let us analyze the containers we have been using and how today we can make a shift and gain from it.
"The greatest aim of Education is not Knowledge but ACTION"
Please do share your feedback on the same.
Thanks and Regards
1. First and most Important - Be ready to Learn.
2. Be thoroughly prepared. Back-up activities, back-up agenda, back-up of props and exercises.
Be flexible. The unexpected can be your greatest challenge.
4. Do not carry your EGO to the training.
5. Do not teach or Preach but share personal stories that are true and make a point.
6. Ask Good questions to get Good Answers that will help learning and reflection.
7. Anticipate resistance, deviations, and mistakes. How you handle these impacts the whole day and are usually where the learning takes place.
8. Take a Pause. After an activity or a de-brief, allow your participants to think and reflect.
9. You do not Solve Problems – but facilitate to Help participants come to their own solutions.
10. Be Creative and have combination of Activity, Role Plays, and Group Discussion in the training program.
11. Involve all the participants and make the training Interactive. You create the learning experience ---- and then step back.
12. Be Enthusiastic and Lively if you want your participants to be so.
13. Practice what you Preach (if you are preaching… anyways..!!!)
Corporate Softskills Trainer
Shabbar Suterwala's Leaders Workshop
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