Tuesday’s Tale. Krylov’s “THE CUCKOO AND THE EAGLE”*

Posted by jlubans on March 14, 2017


THE Eagle promoted a Cuckoo to the rank of a Nightingale. The Cuckoo, proud of its пеw position, seated itself proudly on an aspen, and began to exhibit its musical talents. After a time, it looks round. All the birds are flying away, some laughing at it, others abusing it. Our Cuckoo grows angry, and hastens to the Eagle with a complaint against the birds.
‘Have pity on me!’ it says. ‘According to your command, I have been appointed Nightingale to these woods, and yet the birds dare to laugh at my singing.’
‘My friend,’ answers the Eagle, ‘I am a king, but I am not God. It is impossible for me to remedy the cause of your complaint. I can order a Cuckoo to be styled a Nightingale; but to make a Nightingale out of a Cuckoo— that I cannot do.’”
How many of us wannabe Nightingales are fearful of being found a Cuckoo?
A study of 116 CEOs, revealed “their biggest fear is being found to be incompetent, also known as the “imposter syndrome.”
“The five top fears resulted in these dysfunctional behaviors: a lack of honest conversations, too much political game playing, silo thinking, lack of ownership and follow-through, and tolerating bad behaviors.” Sounds all too familiar.
What’s a poor Cuckoo to do?
The study’s author offers us ways to reduce such fears. These suggestions are well worth considering. (BTW, if you are alone in your executive group in wanting to address these fears, as I was once, you probably need to move elsewhere. Abandon ship and all hope. You cannot do worse by skedaddling).
1. Admit to being fearful and commit to building a strong organization.
2. Value and recruit for emotional intelligence.
3. Encourage executives to share personal stories about key moments in their lives.
Maybe you’ll never be a Nightingale, but you’ll be a lot less of a Cuckoo.

*Source: Krilof and his fables, by Krylov, Ivan Andreevich, 1768-1844; Ralston, William Ralston Shedden, 1828-1889. Tr. London, 1869

N.B. My new book, Fables for Leaders, Ezis Press, will be out in June 2017 as
both an e-book and a soft cover print-on-demand book. The print book will feature original illustrations by the renowned, Béatrice Coron.
I hope to have prepublication information up soon on Amazon and other purchasing venues.

© Copyright John Lubans 2017
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