Panchatantra and the CIO: The Crows and the Snake

How do you deal with the snakes in your life? The Crows' success story might have a pointer for you...

Once upon a time, there was a Crow couple. Mr. and Mrs. Crow were living a dream. They were happily married, owned a paid up nest on a tree overlooking a pond, and now, they were expecting their first children.

Nothing could come in the way of this happy couple.

Unfortunately, a snake heard about the happy news too. He had a taste for delicious baby crows. So he took up residence in a hole in the tree right below the Crows loft.

"There goes the neighborhood," exclaimed Mr. Crow. Mrs. Crow, a card holding member of the local Civil Liberties Union, was having none of that. "What do you mean?" she replied, "Just because he is a snake does not mean that he does not have a right to live where he wants."

Mr. Crow's political correctness got the better of him and he kept quiet.

Mrs. Crow soon gave birth to gorgeous baby crows - each more beautiful than the other. As the babies hatched both parents were obliged to make food runs. So off they went in search of food leaving their babies in the comfort of their cozy nest.

To the Snake, lunch was served - a wee bit earlier than he was used to but one has to give something to get something.

The Crows returned home to find an empty nest. Police report and investigation later, the culprit was not apprehended. Mr. Crow pointed at the snake but Mrs. Crow admonished him again.

For the first time in their happy married life grief took control. The despondent couple went about their business till one day Mrs. Crow broke the happy news. You see, she was expecting again!

Mrs. Crow was liberal but no fool. She also suspected the snake but did not want to accuse him without proof.

Soon, the babies were hatched. This time Mrs. Crow stood guard while her husband went in search of food. But she was no match for the snake's strength who came in and had his meal without breaking a sweat.

Mrs. Crow had realized her worst nightmare. Her world and world-view shattered, she wanted revenge. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

The snake had hissed his last.

Mrs. Crow knew that the kingdom's queen and her entourage used to love bathing at the pond. While they bathed, they keep their jewelry in a tray by the side of the pond. The royal guards stood at a distance keeping an eye on the precious jewelry. Nobody was getting close to the royal entourage or those precious jewels.

This time Mrs. Crow hatched a plan to get rid of the snake.

As always, that day the royal entourage arrived on time. As always, the women were in the water and the jewelry on the royal tray. In one swift move, Mrs. Crow swooped down on the royal tray and hit it with a thud that alerted the ever vigilant guards. Then she took off with the queen's necklace hanging from her beak.

The guards ran after her pelting her with stones. Mrs. Crow flew low but dodged those bullets and took the guards to her tree. In front of their eyes, she dropped the necklace in hole in the tree where our snake lived.

The guards did the rest.

The Crows lived happily ever after.

Leadership Lessons:

If you are the Snake:

  1. Don't try the same trick twice
  2. The weak shall inherit the earth
  3. Greed without ingenuity will get you killed

If you are the Crows:

  1. That dude Maslow got it right: Security is job one!
  2. If you don't spot a shake early enough then you will lose big
  3. One can kill a snake without breaking a sweat

About the Author:

Sourabh Hajela is a management consultant and trainer with over 20 years of experience creating shareholder value for his Fortune 50 clients. His consulting practice is focused on IT strategy, alignment and ROI. For more information, please visit Or feel free to contact Sourabh at

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