Hare and Tortoise – Reloaded

May 2, 2006

We all know the story of the tortoise winning the race and its moral—slow and steady win the race. But the story doesn't end there.
The disappointed hare realised that he lost the race because he was overconfident, careless and lazy. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles. Moral: Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. It's good to be slow and steady, but it is better to be fast and consistent.
Time for the tortoise to do some thinking. He realised that he could never beat the hare in the race the way it was currently formatted. Then he had a flash. He challenged the hare to another race, but on a different route. They started off. The hare ran at a fast pace without stopping until he came to a river. The finishing line was still a couple of kilometres away on the other side of the river. While the hare sat there wondering what to do, the tortoise arrived, swam across the river and finished the race. Moral: Identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit it.
The hare and the tortoise had become good friends by now and they did some thinking together. They decided to run the race again, but as a team. This time, the hare carried the tortoise till the river bank. Then, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a great sense of happiness, camaraderie and success. Moral: Working as a team and harnessing each other's core competencies, you perform above par. 
Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failure. Failure is an event, it is never permanent. Further, when instead of a rival, we compete against the situation, we perform better.


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