Friday Fable. Lubans’ The Two Roosters

Posted by jlubans on October 30, 2015


Once upon a time, a farmer and his wife were given a rooster, Rex by name. They added him to their brood of egg-laying hens.
Rex ruled the roost with an iron claw and a steel beak, brutalized the hens into submission; he’d strut and swagger around the barnyard, proclaiming with a strident cock-a-doodle-doo, that he was lord of all he surveyed, and ready to take on all comers. Spitefully, he’d take vicious pecks at bare feet and hands – even those that fed him.
Well, as we all know, those who rule by fear are often replaced by someone more ruthless, more ambitious, (petty tyrants take note) than the immediate tyrant.
One day, another rooster, likely fleeing a neighbor’s stew pot, landed, literally, in Rex’s yard. Bolder, younger and feistier, he soon vanquished Rex in combat and banished him to cower in a bush on the barnyard’s periphery.
Left only with dreams of glories past, the lonely Rex looked around for a friendly face. He turned to the farmer and followed him about docilely. Alas, the farmer, while sympathetic with Rex’s plight, knows Rex will soon have to meet his destiny – in the freezer.
What does this have to do with the workplace? Eventually, the office bully, the bad boss will be replaced by a badder boss or a more vicious bully, or, better, if the governing board displays some courage, will be removed for a true leader.
Rule by fear gets only temporary results and, overtime, merely mediocre. While hens may shiver at the tyrant and humans become wary, it’s always at a cost to the organization. Low morale begets low production, low innovation and eventually a failed business, a failed organization, unless and until a supportive and compassionate leader - despising bully tactics - comes to the rescue.

© Copyright John Lubans 2015

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