What We’re Reading – Aesop’s Fables

Business books come and go with favourites such as Drucker, Peters and Blanchard all having had a big following only to be replaced by some new author with a new approach for a modern age.

With attention spans shortening books like Fish! and Who Moved My Cheese became popular as their simple points could be quickly translated into posters and soft toys to publicise their message in office environments.

These books owe more than a little to the early business writing of Aesop. Hardly a media friendly character in life, Aesop’s Fables were ‘published’ 250 years after his execution for sacrilege. There’s plenty of good learning material in there still, and though people may know quite a few of the fables by heart, some of the less popular ones ring true for managers today.

Here’s one for over-promoted, bullying managers:

Standing securely on a high rock, a kid (that’s a young goat, not a child!) noticed a wolf passing below and began to taunt him and shower him with abuse. The wolf merely stopped to reply, “Coward! Don’t think that you can annoy me. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not you who’s taunting me, but the place on which you’re standing”

Perhaps one to think of when you find yourself looking at global leaders today.