There’s a fable by the ancient Greek storyteller, Aesop, about the Sun and the Wind that offers a powerful lesson for today’s fleet leaders. It goes something like this.
As the Sun and the Wind were debating over who was the stronger force, the Sun noticed a traveler walking along the road below them, which gave him an idea for how to settle the matter once and for all.
He pointed to the traveler and offered this proposal to the Wind: “Whichever one of us can get that man to take off his jacket will be considered the stronger force.”
The Wind agreed and went first. But as he put his power on full display, something very interesting happened. While the Wind’s strength grew, so did the traveler’s resistance. Instead of getting him to take off his jacket, the Wind’s force caused the man to cling to his jacket even tighter, refusing to let it go, until eventually the Wind gave up.
Then it was the Sun’s turn. He emerged from behind the clouds and quietly focused his heat onto the man. At first, nothing appeared to be happening. But then a drop of sweat trickled down the man’s forehead. And then another and another, until the traveler was sweating profusely. A few seconds later, he willingly took off his coat.