Aesop & Business: Appearances Are Deceptive

The Ant and the Chrysalis

An Ant nimbly running about in the sunshine in search of food came

across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The

Chrysalis moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant,

who then saw for the first time that it was alive. “Poor, pitiable

animal!” cried the Ant disdainfully. “What a sad fate is yours!

While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish,

ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with

power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail.” The Chrysalis

heard all this, but did not try to make any reply. A few days after,

when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained.

Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly

shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly.

“Behold in me,” said the Butterfly, “your much-pitied friend! Boast

now of your powers to run and climb as long as you can get me to

listen.” So saying, the Butterfly rose in the air, and, borne along

and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the

Ant forever.

“Appearances are deceptive.”

This fable is one that rings true in many different areas of life, but how can it be used for business managers?

Evaluate Each Business Idea Without Prejudice From Any Previous Deal

How many of us have been guilty of saying these words in a meeting:  “We have tried that in the past, and it didn’t work”, or something along the lines of “That is just not the way we have always done this in the past.”  Nearly everyone in the business world is guilty of having said these words as a new, possibly profitable, idea was being pitched.  Our tendency to rely on experience is good, in theory, but it should not stop us from evaluating each idea on its own merit.  For example, did the idea fail because of the timeframe it was introduced, the budget it was given, the company who tried it, the effort behind the campaign, or the person in charge of it?  Any of these reasons would be valid reasons for a good business idea to fall flat the first time around.  Do not judge a book by its cover, not all hardcover books are identical on the inside.  Listen to the idea, poke holes in the thought process, keep an open mind, offer an honest, unbiased opinion, and then take action.  This will get you further in business than you might imagine.

About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on December 8, 2011, in Aesop's Fables & Business, Business Strategy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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