Aesop’s Fable: The Brave Mice

With the growing intensity of the scrutiny of public service agencies and state owned enterprises, leadership has become a pressing demand in all sectors, and most importantly, in the public sector. Public service leaders are expected to lead with courage, but in a context that may discourage courage, not all leaders are observed to do so. Thus, more needs to be done to build courage.

The Brace Mice – A fable by Aesop

There once was a very old cat who lived in a barn, as cats often do. His job in the barn was to catch all of the mice, and he was very good at it.  As you can imagine the mice didn’t really like this and so . . . one day they met together to talk about the great harm that the old cat was doing them.   Each one shared a plan that they had by which to keep out of her way. An old grey mouse who was seen to be very wise by the others spoke up:  “Do as I say.  Do as I say.   Hang a bell on the cat’s neck, then, when we hear it ring, we shall all know that she is coming and we can scamper out of her way.” “Good!  Good”” said all of the other mice and one ran to get the ball. “Now,” said the old grey mouse . . . “which of you will hang this bell around the cat’s neck?”

“Not I! Not I!” came the shouts all-together and the mice scampered away to their holes.

And things continued as they always had done . . .

Real courage lies in action….not words. As Aristotle observed, “we become brave by doing brave acts”.