Thursday, August 19, 2004

Awaken the sleeping tiger

This sounds like a dangerous thing to do, but let us explain. In an interview, a successful businessman described an epiphany he had after years of ruthlessly advancing his own career by destroying the careers of others. He had been raised in a very competitive environment and was taught that the opportunities out there must be seized aggressively, or someone else will. In a sense that's true, but he took this philosophy to the extreme, ruining the careers of others not only to advance his own, but eventually because of the pleasure it gave him. But deep down he was not happy. He did not know why, but he was unhappy and angry, and he took out his anger on his wife and children and everyone else around him. Then one day a friend gave him a drawing of a tiger dozing lazily on the ground. He told him that most people are like sleeping tigers -- possessing so much raw strength and talent but not using it. The businessman pondered that thought and eventually realized that the key to success in business (and life) lies not in crushing others, but by awakening their talents, getting them to realize their full potential by drawing on their intelligence, drive, and creativity. These “sleeping tigers” are not just a CEO’s underlings; they are everyone around us -- our children, spouses, friends, colleagues, even parents. Everyone. Have you awakened any sleeping tigers lately?

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