Friday Fable. Aesop’s “The Hare and the Hound”*

Posted by jlubans on January 01, 2016

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Caption: A New Year's interpretation of the classic KITA!

“A HOUND started a Hare from his lair, but after a long run, gave up the chase. A goat-herd seeing him stop, mocked him, saying ‘The little one is the best runner of the two.’ The Hound replied, ‘You do not see the difference between us: I was only running for a dinner, but he for his life.’”

So, which is the more effective motivator: Fear or Hunger? In the fable, fear sends the hare flying; the dog’s hunger will be placated at another time, probably at the backdoor of the cookhouse. Dinner can wait, one’s life cannot.
OK, in the workplace what's the best approach for getting results? Kick ‘em or trust ‘em?
The martinet (overt or covert) boss can and will hurt you unless you produce. If well planted, the kick’s an effective motivator – as the illustration implies - but what about the long term? Can the boss keep kicking? What happens when the mistrustful boss leaves early or calls in sick?
Kurt Lewin tested three ways of leading - authoritarian,
democratic and laissez-faire - and found that the democratic leader and his group fared best. Respect for and trust in a worker’s abilities achieve more than disdain and mistrust.
Which leader are you?

*Source: FABLES By Aesop Translated by George Fyler Townsend (probably from this edition): “Three hundred and fifty Aesop’s fables”. Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1886. Available at the Gutenberg Project.

© Copyright John Lubans 2015

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