Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

Have You Ever Felt Like a Crow To Someone Else’s Fox?

Chapter 4: Who To Trust At Work?  Part 10

The last few posts have described the Scorpion, the first of three personality types that can help you evaluate a coworkers priorities and values.  I define a Fox as someone who is motivated primarily by self-advancement, and who particular gift of convincing people to act in a certain way.  Or to put it less kindly, a Fox is a manipulator.  I picked the name based on the fox in Aesop’s fable “The Fox and the Crow.”[i]

A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. “Good-day, Mistress Crow,” he cried. “How well you are looking to-day: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds.” The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. “That will do,” said he. “That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future: Do not trust flatterers.”

A Fox is the type of person who can convince you that “black is white.”  The Fox in the office can be charming or critical, but is always a master of “upward management.”  Often, a Fox on the rise has a protector in a more senior role in the company.  In the next post, we’ll look at a few true stories of the Fox in action.

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