Aesop & Business: One Man’s Pleasure May Be Another’s Pain
The Boys and the Frogs
SOME BOYS, playing near a pond, saw a number of Frogs in the
water and began to pelt them with stones. They killed several of
them, when one of the Frogs, lifting his head out of the water,
cried out: “Pray stop, my boys: what is sport to you, is death to
“One man’s pleasure may be another’s pain.”
The best way to utilize this fable in the business world is to think about your cross-functional projects. For example, you are driving towards certain metrics, but other members of the cross-functional team are likely graded on different metrics. It is important to understand what they are graded on so that you can understand their motivations and needs from the project. Otherwise, you may be driving towards an incredibly good rating while the rest of your team is suffering due to your actions. In the long run, this will not allow you to move up the corporate ladder. Understand people’s motivations, alter your strategy to allow everyone to succeed at an acceptable level, and drive your results accordingly. Getting more out of your employees than they could accomplish themselves, and making 1+1 = 3 is the sign of a good manager and that reputation will serve you well throughout your entire career.