I hope you have a great summer.
Here’s a new Fable of La Fontaine, you may know already: the Fox and the Grapes.

 

A fox sees a pergola with beautiful grapes, but too high for him.

In anger, he says that “these grapes are too green” and prefers to despise what he can not have.

Sorry for the people from Gascony that will read this text, but La Fontaine gives us a clue at the beginning of this short fable about the character of this fox.
At the time the Gascons were supposed to represent courageous characters but easily proud, even arrogant (think of d’Artagnan, Cyrano…).

 

Have you already reacted like this fox in front of an obstacle or a failure? I have 🙂

It means for example to wrap yourself up in pride and say “this has no interest for me anyway… »

or more subtle, to sabotage yourself when you see the failure coming, for example stop studying before an exam and thus be able to justify the failure retrospectively by finding a good or a bad excuse…

It is very human to want to keep head up.

But this prevents to find alternative strategies, and in particular COLLABORATION:

 

Why did not our Fox look for an ally ?
He could have climbed on his back to reach the grapes…

(1) He would have got what he wanted

(2) And even have found a partner for the rest of his adventures ?

Ah yes, he probably would have to SHARE the reward…
This reminds me this experience in psychology where 2 strangers find together a banknote.
How will they react? Share money, argue, offer it… or go and have coffee together?

 

If tomorrow you are facing a difficulty or an unreachable goal:

You might remember this fox to decide consciously to give up alone, if possible in a discreet manner, or to try with partners…

 

If you are leader, manager or HR Manager, this refers to your corporate culture:

How do you balance individual motivation tools (and therefore personal recognition, or even internal competition) and collective incentives ?

There is no “right” answer, but it is worth to put the question on the table.

 

See you soon. Guillemette

 

And for our pleasure, here is the original text of La Fontaine (for those who read French) :

LE RENARD ET LES RAISINS
Certain Renard Gascon, d’autres disent Normand,
Mourant presque de faim, vit au haut d’une treille
Des raisins mûrs apparemment,
Et couverts d’une peau vermeille.
Le galant en eût fait volontiers un repas.
Mais comme il n’y pouvait atteindre :
« Ils sont trop verts, dit-il, et bons pour des goujats.  »
Fit-il pas mieux que de se plaindre ?
(Livre Troisième – Fable 11)

 

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