Aesop & Business: A Man Is Known By The Company He Keeps

The Ass and his Purchaser

A man who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, and, coming across

a likely-looking beast, arranged with the owner that he should be

allowed to take him home on trial to see what he was like. When he

reached home, he put him into his stable along with the other asses.

The newcomer took a look round, and immediately went and chose a place

next to the laziest and greediest beast in the stable. When the master

saw this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and handed

him over to his owner again. The latter was a good deal surprised to

seem him back so soon, and said, “Why, do you mean to say you have

tested him already?” “I don’t want to put him through any more tests,”

replied the other. “I could see what sort of beast he is from the

companion he chose for himself.”

“A man is known by the company he keeps.”

This fable represents one of the most fatal mistakes that people make in the business world.  How many times have we run across an Employee and instantly made snap judgments about him/her based on who they surround themselves with.  Managers are certainly judged based on who they recruit for their teams, or who actively pursues a job underneath them.  But even for the average employee, this fable represents an important lesson that will stunt your business growth if it is not adhered to strictly.  For people who do not already know you well, you will be judged harshly if you keep company who is not of the caliber level that you wish to be aligned with.  More simply, don’t hang out with “Louie the Loser” if you want to be viewed as a winner.  Don’t hang out with “Sally the Slacker” if you want to be viewed as a hard worker.  Don’t hang out with “Carl the Complainer” if you want to be viewed as a Company Man.  Believe it or not, upper management spends a whole lot less time thinking about you as an individual as you might want to believe, therefore the company you keep can have a drastic effect on your reputation among the management of the company.  Please take this advice, evaluate your workplace friendships, and make adjustments as needed.

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 29, 2011, in Aesop's Fables & Business, Business Strategy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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