3 Inspiring Short Stories about Leadership you should read to be a better Manager

As leaders or aspiring leaders, we need to face challenges constantly from our surroundings. It sometimes deviates us from our intended path.

So, we need a constant search for motivation to get us back on track with our leadership behaviors.

Where do we get this motivation? We have many sources.

And one such source is short stories.

These stories help us to understand the importance of leadership behaviors in different situations and how we can take these examples to improve our leadership skills.

Let us look at three inspiring short stories about leadership that can help us be better leaders.

#1. Short Stories on Leadership – Prince and the Sheep

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Image source: Unsplash

Once there was a beautiful kingdom ruled by a prince. He took over the Kingdom after the death of his father.

After a few months of ruling, things started to test him. With no rain, drought bought losses to farmers and killed many animals, birds, and precious plants in the forest.

And it was followed by an unknown disease that caused the loss of many lives.

After a few months, things started to improve. But before they could recover completely, an enemy king took over the Kingdom killing many people and imprisoning them.

The young king managed to escape. Then he planned to meet his childhood friend, the king of a neighboring kingdom.

On his way, he was thinking about the past. He was born and bred to be a king of the powerful and wealthiest empire, but now he lost everything.

He believed that because of his bad luck, everything happened to him. Because nothing has happened to his father or any other king he knew.

When the young king reached the palace of his friend, the guards did not allow him because of his dirty looks and clothes. He tried many times and all failed.

Then he took a job so that he could buy some clothes. After some days, he went in new clothes, and the guards allowed him to meet his friend.

To his friend, he explained all the things that happened to him. After hearing his story, his friend king ordered his people to give him a herd of 100 sheep.

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Image source: Unsplash

The young king was surprised as he was expecting much more than this. He does not want to be a shepherd. But he has nothing else, so he took the offer from his friend.

After a few days, while he was grazing his herd, a group of wolves attacked his herd and killed all of them. While the wolves were attacking the sheep, the king ran away from that place.

Then he again went to his friend king and asked for help. This time he gave 50 Sheep.

But once again, he failed to protect his herd from the wolves.

For the 3rd time, he got just 25 sheep.

This time young king decided if I do not protect my herd from these wolves, he will not get any more help from his friend.

So, he examined his place and understood the wolves attacking areas. He then added additional fences and guards all around.

He continued to monitor the places. Discussed with other herders and kept on learning the tricks of maintaining the herd.

After a few years, his herd has grown into 1000 Sheep.

One day, he went to the palace and informed his king friend of his accomplishment.

After hearing him, the friend king ordered his ministers to give him a whole state to rule.

He asked his friend, “Why did you not give me the state to rule when I first came to you for help?

The friend king replied,

“First time when you came to me for help, your mindset was like you were born and bred to be a leader, but the truth was you are far from it.

You might have been born in wealth, pride, and power, but you have never had proper education and training to lead your people.

So, when I gave you the herd, I wanted you to learn how to manage and lead others.

Dear friend, now I believe you are ready to lead!”

Moral of the story:

Being born into a powerful family or being a manager in a higher position does not make us a leader.

We may be in charge of others, like the King or Manager or the CEO. But holding that position and doing nothing for the people does not make us a leader.

We should know our people better and win the hearts and minds of people.

On the flip side, sometimes we think we have to be born and bred to be leaders.

But the answer is simple No.

Anyone can be a leader one day, as long as we keep learning the secrets of keeping our herd safe.


#2. Short Stories on Leadership – Gandhiji and a Young Boy

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Image source: Getty Images – JGI/Jamie Grill

It was a beautiful village there lived a young boy with his parents. He was addicted to eating sugar. His mother warned him several times not to eat sugar, as it is bad for his health. But the boy did not listen to his mother.

After some days, his mother decided to get help from Gandhiji. So, she took his son to the place where Gandhiji stayed.

The journey was long, as she had to walk miles in hot weather conditions.

She then finally reached the place and met Gandhiji.

She requested him to inform her son to stop eating sugar as it is bad for his health.

Gandhiji replied, “I cannot tell him right now. But you can bring him back after a month and then I will speak to him!.

Hearing this, the mother was confused and upset that Gandhiji did not give any solution. Both went back home.

After a month, they met Gandhiji again.

This time Gandhiji looked at the boy and said, “Young boy, you should stop eating sugar as it is not good for your health. Listen to your mother and obey her.”

The boy agreed.

The mother curiously asked Gandhiji, “Why did you not tell him last time when I bought him here?”

Gandhiji smiled and said, “Mother, last time when you came, I had the habit of eating a lot of sugar myself.”

Moral of the story:

If we want people to follow or listen to us, we should lead as an example on things that we want others to follow.

By leading the way, you are creating confidence in people in you.


#3. Short Stories on Leadership – Tradesman in Desert

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Image source: Unsplash

Once there was a group of tradesmen. They travel from place to place to sell their goods.

One day while they were traveling, they came across a hot desert. The leader of the tradesman checked nearby people.

He came to know that, during the day, the hot sun heats the fine sand so much that no one walks on it, not even the camels. Also, it takes close to 3 nights to cross the desert.

Hearing this, the leader decided to travel during the night when the sand cools down and camp in the day.

Considering the night travel, he hired a local guide to help them cross the desert.

With the help of the guide, they started their journey in the desert.

The guide went in front, and all tradesmen followed him. All were traveling with their respective caravans pulled by camels.

A couple of nights later, they crossed 3/4th of the desert.

On the third night, they started their journey again.

After some time, the guide considering that it would be the last night of the travel, started relaxing and fell asleep.

Then his camel started walking to the side, and other camels behind followed.

All the camels went in a big circle until they ended up in the same place where they had started last night.

When the sun came up, the tradesman realized they were back at the same spot where they camped last night. They worried that they had only very little water, not enough to cross the desert.

They started blaming the leader and guide, “Without water, how to survive in this hot desert?”.

The leader talked to himself, “We are in a difficult situation, and If I lose courage now, lives will be lost.”

So, he started exploring the area and found a bunch of grass. He was sure that without underneath water, it is difficult for the grass to survive.

He then them that we dig this grass area, as there is a possibility of water here.

Everyone agreed and started digging, soon they found a large rock, which was a challenge to break.

Seeing the rock, everyone lost hope and started to blame the leader, “We wasted our time and energy.”

The leader said, “No, my friends. It is not a waste. If we give up now, all our effort will go in vain. So, we should continue our work.”

He then put his ear on the large rock and heard the sound of flowing water.

Hearing the sound, he called the strongest among them and said, “If you give up, we all will perish. So, give all your strength in breaking this rock”.

The strong man lifted the hammer and hit the rock hard. Soon, the rock split open, and water gushed out from it.

Then all tradesmen were overjoyed and filled up all their water pouches. The leader and the guide were relieved and continued to lead the journey.

Moral of the story:

Being the leader of a team, we need to face challenges, either from external sources or from internal sources. It will test our leadership skills.

During those times, we should never lose our focus. We should constantly work towards our team goal.

Explore the opportunities around us and take what is good for our team.

The main character of a good leader is, “Do not give up easily. Keep trying until you reach the goal”.


Final Thoughts

We hope these short stories on leadership would have helped you understand how leaders in these stories have handled their situation for a better outcome. Take these examples and apply them in our day-to-day life.

Like these short stories on leadership, Share now!

More stories to Read: 

3 Inspiring Short Stories on Career to Make You Self Realize

3 Inspiring Short Stories about Teamwork that you must share with your Team

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