Three old hunters were sitting around at the coffee shop. One said, “My dog has to be the best tracking dog in history. Why, just the other day, he was able to track a rabbit that must have run over two miles through three pastures, a woods, and over the creek twice. He stayed with the trail and, sure enough, the rabbit was sitting, out-of-breathe, at the end. What an amazing dog!”
The second hunter said, “That’s nothin’. My dog can trail three rabbits at once. The other day, he trailed three rabbits whose trails criss-crossed and covered over 10 acres of the bottom pasture, yet he stayed with them — all at once! At the end, I found each rabbit in the brush at the end of its trail. My dog kept the three rabbit scents separate across all that space and time. He has to be the best ever!”
The third hunter jumped in and said, “Your dogs are amateurs! My dog can follow a rabbit trail across the interstate highway, swim the lake to pick it up on the other side, and will chase the rabbit back to me sitting on my back porch. Well, he even picked up a trail that was two weeks old one day early in the morning and it took him till near dinner time to chase that rabbit back to the house! No doubt in all the world, my dog is the best tracking dog ever!”
So, what’s the moral of this story? Of course, you probably guessed it already…. The first liar doesn’t have a chance! When you are tempted to exaggerate the truth or embellish the facts or just outdo your friend, you must not go first! You have to let all the other liars have first shot at the story, then you can simply top them all.
Have you seen this play out in the workplace? Sure you have. It goes something like this… “My team did a great job on that last project. They delivered on time and on budget. Perfect execution.” The second person jumps in with, “Yes, that was pretty good, I do admit. However, I remember my team tackling a similar project last year and they actually finished the thing early and had enough budget left over to add that second module that has paid huge dividends. I’ve never been prouder.” Finally, the last person (actually, the smart one that waited until the end) says, “Yes, you both have pretty decent teams. But, you have to admit you are still jealous of my team. They have a reputation of outperforming every other team. Remember that project last month? They finished it in a day, actually made money doing it, and their efforts single-handedly caused our stock to increase by 25% in one hour! You two probably wouldn’t even still have your jobs if not for the great performance of my team.”
Sound familiar? Have a great day and remember, we need to be warriors, not worriers.