Friday Fable. Lubans’ The Kudzu Vine* and the Oak Tree

Posted by jlubans on November 15, 2013

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Caption: It is said that a tethered goat left out overnight in a field of kudzu will be overgrown by morning.

A long time ago the kudzu creeper and an oak tree were neighbors. Not very good neighbors, because the oak tree daily reminded the kudzu of its lowly status and of the oak’s lofty importance. Disdainfully, the oak showered the kudzu with its old leaves, acorns and other droppings. Finally the kudzu appealed to Zeus for relief. Zeus granted the kudzu’s wish to climb; no longer would it be earth bound. Soon the kudzu vine crept up the trunk of the oak tree, along its branches and it was not long before it engulfed the tree. The kudzu smothered the sunlight and sapped water from the tree. The oak died and the kudzu, high above the earth and no longer humble, exulted. It was now as prideful as ever had been the oak.
But not for long. The dead oak’s branches sagged and its roots withered. Zeus sent a harsh wind, toppling the tree and the kudzu crashed back to earth, unseemly ambition and pride its undoing.

And so it can be in the workplace when a “good” subordinate is chosen to replace a bad leader. The proud new leader may soon forget all her good intentions and become even a worse leader.

* All you may ever want to know about this voracious, invasive, exotic plant of the Southeast USA.

Leading from the Middle Library of the Week: Brown University

Copyright 2013 John Lubans

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Comments

Posted by Evangela on November 15, 2013  •  10:00:11

How is it that you just described a situation I went through years ago. You're dead on, John!

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