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Coach To Lead – Two geese and a turtle

Below is a story to be learned about PRIDE. As coaches we have to resist the temptation to show the coachee that we have the answers. Coaches have to be humble to learn even from the coachees and not be condescending and arrogant.

Two geese and turtle were very close friends. As the nights became shorter and cooler, the two geese decided to fly south for the winter. However, they did not want to leave their turtle friend behind. They were wondering what to do with their turtle friend – the turtle cannot fly like them and to walk south for the winter is impossible because of the long distance. The turtle said to the two geese: “I have an idea. Why don’t we find a stick that the two of you can hold in your mouths and I will hold on to the middle of the stick with my powerful stick? Then we can fly together to the south for winter.”

Showing concern for the turtle, one goose asked if the turtle was strong enough to hang for a long time on the stick. The turtle replied, “Sure, I’m very strong”.

Several weeks later while flying over a farm, they were spotted by a farmer who was most impressed with what he saw. He quickly called his wife to watch this incredible sight. There were the two geese flying overhead with a stick in their mouths and a turtle hanging in between them. The farmer’s wife shouted, “What an incredible idea! Who thought of that?”

The turtle could not resist and shouted, “I did”, and the turtle fell down from the sky.

Lesson to be learned:

PRIDE is a five-letter word with “I” in the middle. This story reminds us of the proverb: pride goes before a fall. Many leaders fall because of pride. They became self-centred and self-exalted. We see this in companies where leaders after holding high positions became arrogant to others. Pride says, “I did it”. True humility says, “I did it by the grace of God.” The great American printer, writer, scientist and statesman, Benjamin Franklin made a chart of 12 virtues that he would try to perfect, such as industry and frugality. Each week he proudly showed off his progress to the other members of his self-improvement club. One member, noting Franklin’s too-evident pride, “kindly” informed him that he had left off a virtue that he would do well to practice: humility.

Dr. CK Khoo is a certified coach, linked to the International Coaching Federation(ICF) and had conducted many coaching workshops in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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