Leadership proverb of the month

The dog that belongs to everyone in the village will die of starvation

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NGO Management

The goat and the monkey

Once upon a time Goat and Monkey were very good friends. One day, Goat asked Monkey how he managed to look so strong, healthy, happy and well fed throughout the year while for him he was well fed only during the rainy season when grass was plentiful and he starved and struggled the rest of the year. “Ah, for that you need to learn how to get food from different sources throughout the year”, Monkey answered. “To master the diversification of your food sources, you need to learn some six lessons and after the lessons you will never struggle again”, Monkey continued. “When can we start?” Goat said, very excitedly.

They met the next day for the first lesson. “Lesson number is called, when the grass is finished on the ground, go for the low hanging leaves and fruits in trees”, Monkey said. He demonstrated to Goat on how to stand on two feet and put the front legs on the trunk of the tree and nibble away the low hanging leaves and fruits. He then asked Goat to try.  Goat tried and managed to successfully begin eating the leaves and fruits. “Time up, its time to go to lesson two!”, Monkey shouted. “No, Monkey, I am alright with Lesson number one. I am happy with the low hanging leaves and fruits”, Goat replied as kept on eating. “There are five more lessons, remember?”, Monkey asked. “Yes, I remember but lesson number is enough for me, I am happy. Leave me alone”, Goat replied. Monkey tried to persuade Goat but to no avail.

Confused and disappointed Monkey left Goat alone while the Goat looked happy and satisfied.

Moral: Many people are like Goat. They are satisfied with too little too soon. They do not stretch themselves to exploit their full potential. They are satisfied with success at lesson number one when there are five or more lessons to be learned in order to become full masters of themselves and in maximizing their power and influence.

Many people are also satisfied with success just for themselves and their families when they can possibly get more success to transcend themselves and touch many more people. If the goat had gone to lesson number two and more, he would make sure that he had enough food for himself, his family and friends throughout the year.


Bringing African Indigenous Wisdom To Organisational Development