The Song of Leadership
Once upon a time a bullfrog was very conceited because of his voice
and he passed the nights singing: toc, toc toc…
A cicada was even more conceited because of her voice, and she too
passed the nights and all the days singing: chirr, chirr, chirr…
One time the met each other and the frog said, “My voice is better.”
And the cicada answered, “Mine is better.”
So they armed themselves for a discussion that had no end.
The frog said that he sang all night.
The cicada said that she sang night and day.
The frog said that his voice could be heard from a further distance
and the cicada said her voice could be heard always.
So they began singing alternately: toc, toc, toc…” chirr, chirr, chirr…
and neither one would give in.
The frog then said, “Over on the bank of the lagoon stands a heron.
Let’s go over and make him the judge.”
And the cicada said, “Let’s go.” They jumped and jumped until
they came to the heron.
And the cicada yelled, “Heron, we want you to decide and tell us
which one of us is the better singer.”
The heron replied, “Come a little closer so I can hear you better…”
The frog then began to sing, indifferent to everything around him…
and meanwhile the heron ate the cicada.
When the bullfrog finished singing, the heron said, “And now the
the discussion will continue in my belly.” And the heron ate the frog.
And the heron, satisfied with his actions, drew up one leg and
continued looking peacefully toward the water.*
What type of song do you sing? Good leaders are not afraid to sing duets. Good leaders sing songs that harmonize with other leaders. The song of a good leader is not an egoistic one. It is complementary not complimentary. What is the name of your song?
* Ciro Alegria, “Los rivales y el juez” (South American fable translated by Mark T. Sorrels).