Friday Fable. Aesop’s “THE TRAVELLER AND HIS DOG”*

Posted by jlubans on June 10, 2016

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Caption. Bridger In “Come on, let’s go!” mode. (Author photograph)

“A Traveller was about to start on a journey, and said to his Dog, who was stretching himself by the door, ‘Come, what are you yawning for? Hurry up and get ready: I mean you to go with me.’
But the Dog merely wagged his tail and said quietly, ‘I'm ready, master: it's you I'm waiting for.’"

And likewise in the picture, Bridger’s tail’s a-wag, waiting for me to catch up.
Sometimes in the workplace when I’d make a suggestion for a new way, I’d be pleasantly surprised when a team member would smile and say, “I'm ready; when do we start?"
My teammate anticipated my suggestion and was ready to move on, no holding back. And, so it is with the best effective followers; they are quintessential to any leader’s initiative and accomplishment.
Wisdom from the Tao: “If you want to govern people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.”
Maybe the dog in the fable (and my wise friend in the photograph) knows a bit more about leadership than most. To lead, let go. That’s almost impossible in a hierarchy; instead it’s more like the managers in the old Soviet factory joke when responding to a mandated Central Plan: "We'll pretend to lead while you pretend to work."

*Source: AESOP’S FABLES A NEW TRANSLATION BY V. S. VERNON JONES WITH AN INTRODUCTION By G. K. CHESTERTON AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARTHUR RACKHAM (Publisher: London: W. Heinemann; New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1912). Available at Gutenberg.

© John Lubans 2016

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