ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is Leadership? The Tale of the Prince and the City

Updated on March 14, 2013
Source

The Prince and the City

When he was of age, King Hammurabi’s son was sent away to receive tutorship from the greatest leaders in his kingdom, to teach him what leadership is comprised of.

He sent him first to the General of his Eastern Army, General Abisare.

Immediately upon arrival, the General sent the prince to the city, giving him one instruction:

‘Listen to the sounds of the city, and return to me with what you hear.’


The prince rode into the city pondering on his instructions.


As he rode through the market he heard the merchants offering their goods, and the horses hooves tramping on the stone.

In the temple he heard the chant of priests and their followers.

As he walked on the outskirts of the city he heard the distant clamor of the town square on his left, and the sounds of nature on his right – the bubbling rush of the stream, and the voice of the songbird.

He returned to the General with his report, but as soon as the prince finished his account, the General sent him out again, with the same command.


Bewildered, the prince rode again into the city to listen to it’s sounds.


As he again approached the market, he heard the merchants offering fruits, and jewelry, and rugs, and clothing. Their voices were loud, and often merged together, but he heard their prices, and noticed many of their offerings, and was intrigued.

‘A golden vase for only one piece of silver?’ he mused quietly.

As he respectfully entered the temple, he saw the frown of a priest, who looked angrily at an apologetic servant, who sopped up spilled wine from the temple floor.

When he walked along the outskirts of the city, he watched the young maids as they traveled from the well to their homes, jars balanced neatly on their heads.

The laughter of the children as they fished the brook met his ears, and he smiled fondly at their happiness.

He returned to the General, and gave a detailed account of his trip to the city; his surprise at the price of gold, his amusement with the angry priest, and his interest in the maids as they carried their water.


The General again sent him back to the city.


The prince set out happily, hiding his eagerness until he was outside of the General’s sight, and then broke into a gallop, the wind rushing joyously against his face.

When he returned again to report his countenance had changed. His eyes were troubled, and a cloud of anger followed him into the room. Before the General could ask him to report, the prince broke out in a rage:

‘Gold does not sell for less than silver – they are thieves, cheating, miserable swine! How is this allowed? And priests should not be drunk on wine – they beat the temple servants!’

The General stood silently, watching the prince as he paced back and forth in deep thought, until at last he sat down, his rage slowly subsiding.

‘And the well Master? Why must the maids travel across the city and carry such heavy jars on their heads? Can the brook not be irrigated through the city as we do with our crops?’

The General scratched his beard, eying the young prince solemnly. When the prince finished speaking, he spoke:

‘Hearing what others do not hear is the mark of a leader, and you’ve done well.

Listening to the people is good.

Understanding what you hear is better.

Hearing their problems and finding a solution is best.

You have completed your lesson and have learned well.’

We’ve all heard the saying ‘Practice makes perfect’, and many of us have heard the revision, ‘Perfect practice makes perfect’. In a similar mindset, listening to the people is a good habit, but listening well; understanding what you are listening to, and pinpointing problems and solutions, is the beginning of leadership.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)