Do you recall the parable of the “Lion and the Mouse?”
It’s Aesop’s fable about the small rodent who accidentally ran across the face of a mighty but sleeping beast. The sensation of the Mouse’s tiny, rapidly moving feet awakened the Lion who quickly captured the tiny creature.
“Please,” the terrified Mouse pleaded, “let me go.”
“I am hungry,” the Lion roared, “and I was thinking of making a snack out of you.”
“No, don’t do it,” the Mouse pleaded, her voice cracking. “Spare me and you’ll never regret it. Someday you may be in a bad situation, and I will be there for you.”
The Lion didn’t believe that for a second. But he looked into the Mouse’s eyes and he could see the tears welling up. He could feel the little heart thumping so hard it was crashing against her delicate chest.
The Lion had the power to do whatever he wanted with the Mouse, but his priorities suddenly changed. Instead of eating the mouse, as was his right and ability, his desire was to see the Mouse return safely home. He let the mouse go, expecting that he would never see her again.
But it wasn’t two weeks before the Lion found himself in a similarly terrifying situation. He was walking through the jungle when he was suddenly ensnared in a hunter’s net. He used all his sinew to struggle against the bonds but there was no escape. Aching and exhausted, he roared for help. But only one creature arrived to assist him.
It was the Mouse.
“Don’t worry,” the little mouse said. “This is no problem for me.” The Mouse used her small size and sharp teeth to gnaw the strands of the net until they were broken, and the grateful Lion easily escaped.
The King of the Jungle walked away and thought about what had really saved him. “I am the most powerful animal in the jungle,” he reasoned, “but it wasn’t my strength that spared me, it was my kindness.”
It’s not hard to see how this lesson applies in the world of business. A great leader is often described as “strong,” but strength isn’t always what we think it is. More and more, we are a “pay-it-forward” world where strength is found in character instead of muscle, and success and loyalty are realized in gratitude instead of coercion or fear. In business, those who are the strongest are often the most understanding and caring.
At Durakis, we find leaders by seeking out qualities like kindness that others may misunderstand or overlook. When a leader’s quality matches with their team’s culture, the effect on the organization is transformative. Let us show you.