Leadership

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

As leaders or person who wants to be leader, are always challenged by the surroundings and it sometimes deviates us from our intended path. So, we are in need of a constant search for motivation to get us back on track with 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 a leader’s behaviors in different situations and how we can take these examples to improve our leadership skills. 

Let’s look at 3 inspiring short stories about leadership that can help us to be better leaders.

#1. Short Stories Leadership – Prince and the Sheep

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Image source: Unsplash

There was a beautiful kingdom, which was ruled by a prince who took over the Kingdom after his father’s death.

After few months of ruling, things started testing him. The drought caused losses for the farmers, killed many animals, birds, and precious plants in the forest. And it was followed by an unknown disease which killed many people.

After few months, things started slowly improving before they could recover completely, an enemy king took over the Kingdom killing many people and imprisoned some of them. The young king somehow managed to escape and planned to meet his childhood friend who was the king of a neighboring kingdom.

On his way. he was thinking about how all these things could have happened to him. He was born and bred to be a king of the most powerful and richest Kingdom, but now he lost everything. He believed that he had bad luck because nothing has happened to his father or any other king he knew.

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

Then he took a job so that he can buy some clothes. After some days with new clothes, he was allowed to meet his friend.

To his king 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 doesn’t want to be a shepherd. But he has nothing else, so he took his friend’s offer.

After a few days, while he was grazing his herd, a group of wolves attacked his herd and killed each one of them. While the wolves were attacking, 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 be failed to protect his herd from the wolves.

The 3rd time, he was given just 25 sheep.

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

So, he studied his place completely and understood the wolves’ attacking areas. Then he added additional fences and guards all around. He then continued to monitor the places and talked to all people and kept on learning the tricks of maintaining the herd.

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

With so much joy he meets his friend at the place and told what he achieved. After hearing him, the friend king ordered his ministers to give him a whole state to rule over.

Hearing this, he asked his friend “Why you didn’t 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 been properly educated and trained to lead your people.

So, when I gave you the herd, I was waiting for you to learn, how to manage and lead others. Dear friend, now I believe you are ready to lead others!”

Moral of the story:

Being born into a powerful family or being a manager in a higher position doesn’t make you a leader. You may be in charge of others as king of a place or Manager for a team or a CEO of a Company.

But holding that position and doing nothing for the people on the things under your control doesn’t make you a leader to follow. Know your people better and win the hearts and minds of people.

On the flip side, some people think that they have to be born and bred to be leaders.  But the reality is simply No, anyone can be a leader one day as long as they keep on learning the secrets of keeping their herd safe.

Also Read: 3 Inspiring Short Stories about Teamwork


#2. Short Stories 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 and his mother warned him several times, not to eat sugar, as it is not good for his health. But the boy didn’t listen to his mother.

After some days, his mother decided to get help from Gandhiji. So, she took his son to the ashram where Gandhiji stayed. The Journey was long, as she has to walk miles in hot weather conditions.

She then finally reached the ashram and met Gandhiji. She asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar, as it is not good for his health. Gandhiji replied “I cannot tell him that right now but you can bring him back after a month and then I will talk to him! Hearing this, the mother was confused and upset that Gandhiji didn’t give any solution. She and her son went back home.

After a month, they met Gandhiji again in the Ashram. This time Gandhiji looked at the boy and said “Young boy, you should stop eating sugar as it’s not good for your health. Listen to your mother and follow her”. The boy promised that he will not do that again.

The boy’s mother with curiosity asked Gandhiji “Why didn’t you 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 you want to be a leader who wants to be followed or listened to, then you should lead as an example for things that you want others to follow. By leading the way you are creating confidence in people in you.

Also Read: Inspirational Short Stories to Boost your Career


#3. Short Stories Leadership – Tradesman in Desert

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Image source: Unsplash

Once there were a group of tradesmen who were traveling from one place to another place to sell their goods. During the course of the travel, they came across a hot desert.

The leader of the tradesman checked nearby people and came to know that, during the day, the hot sun heats up 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 that we will travel during the night when the sand cools down and will camp in the day. Considering the night travel, he hired a guide, who could help them to cross the desert during the night.

With the help of the guide, they started their journey in the desert, with the guide leading the way and followed by all tradesmen who traveled in their respective caravan pulled by camels. And after a couple of nights, they were able to cross 3/4th of the desert.

On the third night, they started their journey again. After some time, the guide considering that its the last night before we cross the desert, relaxed, and fell asleep. Because of this, his camel started turning to the side and other camels behind started following.

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, people realized that they were back at the same spot where they camped last night. Realizing the situation, all tradesmen worried that they have very little water which is not enough to cross the desert. And they started blaming the leader and guide “Without water how we can survive in this hot desert?

The leader talked to himself “We are in a difficult situation, If I lose courage now, people’s lives will be lost! So, he started exploring the area and found a bunch of grass. He knew that without water it’s very difficult for the grass to survive in this hot desert.

He then called fellow tradesmen and told them that we will dig this grass area as there is a possibility of water here. All agreed and started digging, soon they found a large rock, which was difficult to break.

Seeing this all tradesmen lost hope and started to blame the leader “You just wasted our time and energy”

The leader replied “No, my friends. It’s not useless. If we give up now all our effort will go in vain. We should continue our effort.”

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

Hearing the sound, he called the strongest man from 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 as hard as he could. 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 their journey by leading front.

Moral of the story:

When you are leading a team you will face challenges either from external sources on from your own team. that can test your leadership skills- During those times you should never lose your focus and constantly work towards your team’s goal.

Explore the opportunities around you and take what is good for your team.

The main character your need as a leader is “Don’t give up easily. keep trying until You reach the goal”.


I 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. 

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