We Need Team Work

A message to fellow Change-makers

Ogechi Linda Iheme
You may have heard this story, but there is no doubt that you have not heard the complete version. Several years ago there lived two creatures; a Tortoise and a Hyena, on  Victoria Island. Though they lived in a city, their means of livelihood, a palm nut plantation, was located in Mowe. The distance between the two cities is 200 Kilometers by land and about 50 kilometers by the water-way.

One day, the two decided to find out who will be the first to reach the plantation from their city.  I haven’t yet told you that the Tortoise walks slowly but can swim, while the Hyena runs fast but cannot swim! At the appointed time, the two set out on the journey. The Hyena ran so fast but when he reached Ketu, a place about half way to the palm nut plantation, he decided to stop and sleep. It took several hours before the Tortoise caught up with him. But whilst the Hyena slept, the Tortoise continued his journey and finally arrived at the plantation first. From this story, the conventional lesson; "Slow and Steady wins the race" was extracted.

However, this story did not end there and the following day, the Hyena requested that the contest should be repeated, to which the Tortoise agreed. This time around, the Hyena ran so fast while the Tortoise was walking. He refused to make the same mistake twice and did not sleep along the way. Now, obviously he got to the plantation several hours before the Tortoise. After a careful look at this story, I wish to say that though slow and steady wins the race, but Fast and Consistent is better.

If you remember very well, Tortoise is the animal that is 'all-knowing' according to our childhood story books. Because he wanted to live true to his name, he requested that the contest should be repeated a second time. Although on this occasion, the two animals would have to use the water-way. When the journey started, the Hyena ran very fast but when he got to the bank of the river he needed to cross, he could not swim and therefore did not continue the journey.

For several hours the Tortoise continued walking until he got to the bank of the river. Since the Tortoise could swim, he swam across to the other side of the river and reached the plantation.The Hyena could never reach the plantation through the water-way route. We now know that it is true that "slow but steady wins the race" though "fast and consistent is better" but eventually realize that your 'Core Competency' and 'Capitalizing' on it, is one of the most powerful things any change-maker can do.

It was clear to both the Tortoise and the Hyena that they each had something the other animal did not have and so they decided to run the race together. Of course, they chose the water-way since it was about 150 Kilometers shorter than the Land route. In the first part of the shorter route to the plantation, the Hyena carried the Tortoise on his back and reached the river bank very quickly. For the second part crossing the river, the Tortoise carried the Hyena on his back and swam across the river. All in all, their journey took them a total of 45 minutes and they both arrived at the plantation site. 

Their journey as a team was much quicker than any of the two could have achieved individually.  Therefore, although discovering your core competence and capitalizing on it is one of the best things anyone can do, harnessing other peoples' competence and working in a team still remains the best of them all!

We, the young change-makers of this generation need to work together. By doing so, we harness one another’s competence and use it to bring to actualization our collective dream of changing the world. Team work is the best!