This is my last book review for the Project Fairy Tale Blog Event! I’ll have one more post about a film adaptation this week and then, this super fun blogging event will have ended for me! If you’d like more information about the event in general, or to see what other bloggers chose for their fairy tale, go visit the Project Fairy Tale Master Post over at The Cheap Reader!
The official title of this retelling was: The Boy Who Cried Wolf; Basic Lesson: Do Not Squander Your Political Capital. I thought this would be an intriguing and unique version of the tale, so I nabbed it when I went to the library. Now, I’m obviously not a manager, but I am a small business owner/worker, so I was interested in this book from the start. Here is a simplified summary of the short business-tale:
A sheep rancher noticed that his ranch was loosing money and prices for sheep were decreasing. In order to draw attention to his ranch (in the hopes of driving business up), he went to a local news station and told them that he spotted a wolf on his property. Since a wolf hadn’t been seen in the county for many years, the news went out to report on it. There was, of course, no wolf and the crew went away without footage. The news report on TV, however, earned the rancher a bit of celebrity–especially since he spoke on camera about the business plights of ranchers. The other ranchers respected him for it and supported him. Another day, the rancher had two of his sheep poached. Instead of telling reporters about the poaching, he claimed more wolves had done it! The reporters came out and did a small story on it, of course, only to find no footage of wolves. Again, though, ranchers around town were supportive. Another time, several of his sheep were infected with disease and he tried to call the reporters, but they hung up on him! After all of this, several of his sheep really were attacked by wolves and the rancher was sad, because he knew that no one would believe him this time.
Now, after this story came a business-application passage. In their opinion, the rancher was wasting something just as valuable as money: Political Capital. Mayer and Mayer describe political capital as this: “favors and attention that are owed to you, or that you are entitled to receive for some other reason…Political Capital is earned when you go beyond the general expectations of your job–by volunteering to stay late and finish a project, taking on additional projects, writing a reference for a friend’s child, or using your connections to help someone get a job, [etc.]” (p. 118).
The rancher was squandering his political capital by deceptively going above and beyond his job to bring attention to a potential predator in the area. If this had been true, he would have earned quite a bit of political capital by bringing it to the attention of his community and warning the other ranchers. He would also have earned political capital by reporting to the news about the plight of struggling ranchers in the community. However, because he was lying about the wolf attacks, all the political capital he could have gained was wasted. No one would trust him or believe him when he tried to help them again.
I thought this was a very clever way to present this business ideal. Political capital was a term I’d never heard of, but having read this story (and their passage following it), I feel that I have a very good idea of not only what it is, but about the wrong way of using it. If you are a small business owner who loves fairy tales, consider checking out this book!
Stay tuned for my final Project Fairy Tale post sometime this week and for a big announcement concerning my books! Can’t wait to share some exciting stuff with you all this week!
More Project Fairy Tale Posts on Unearthing Words
If you love blogging events and are looking for a fun event to participate in this spring, check out my Nine Nights of Narnia event! It will take place in April, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for it if you’re interested! Click the link above to find out more and sign up!