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The Wise Old Owl

Use this story to illustrate a characteristic that can be found in many managers, leaders and consultants.

This is an old parable about the grasshopper who decided to consult the hoary consultant of the animal kingdom, the owl, about a personal problem.

The problem concerned the fact that the grasshopper suffered each winter from severe pains due to the savage temperature. After a number of these painful winters, in which all of the grasshopper’s known remedies were of no avail, he presented his case to the venerable and wise owl.

The owl, after patiently listening to the grasshopper’s misery, so the story goes, prescribed a simple solution: ‘Simply turn yourself into a cricket, and hibernate during the winter.’

The grasshopper jumped joyously away, profusely thanking the owl for his wise advice. Later, however, after discovering that this important knowledge could not be transformed into action, the grasshopper returned to the owl and asked him how he could perform this metamorphosis.

The owl replied rather curtly, ‘Look, I gave you the principle, it’s up to you to work out the details!’

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