Fairy Tales and Fables for the Workplace

These tales aren't just for the kids.

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The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf (Before Monday): “We need this report done by Monday at the absolute latest. I don’t care what you need to do to meet that deadline, but get it done.” Fast forward two weeks after Monday: “Oh, your report? We haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

[See 10 career mistakes I've made.]

Humpty Dumpty: “We’ve called in the lawyers and the accountants and a couple of consulting firms, but no one is able to clean up this mess.”

Three Billy Goats Gruff: “Look, we know he’s a troll, but he might sue us if we fire him. Can’t you just find a desk for him somewhere?”

Hansel and Gretel: “Granted, she seemed a little strange at the interview, but her department looks like it would be a cozy place to work. And they serve free pastry at the coffee breaks!”

[See 5 management books for a deserted island.]

The Gingerbread Man: "I’ve got an MBA, a BMW, and a way with words. No one can touch me!”

Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  “Do a lot? Do nothing? Those sound risky. Let’s go with the middle option: the gruel.”

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs: “Why tinker with targeted improvements? The entire system should be changed.”

Jack and the Beanstalk: “I know you wanted us to get back to basics, but this consultant sold us some magic beans!”

The Grasshopper and the Ants: “It is unfair, but, while you were toiling away, he was making connections and, you’ve got to admit, he’s fun to be around.”

The Adventures of Pinocchio: “Technically speaking, our advertising campaign doesn’t lie. It just doesn’t mention the bad stuff.”

Rumpelstiltskin: “Yes, the deal involves giving up your firstborn, but look at the benefits.”

Cinderella: “And once Cinderella got that promotion, bad things happened to all of the people who were cruel to her when she was powerless.”

Michael Wade writes Execupundit.com, an eclectic combination of management advice, observations, and links. A partner with the Phoenix firm of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., he has advised private and public-sector organizations for more than 30 years.

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