Nate and Sophie—Another Fable Friday Leadership Story

As family and friends celebrated the marriage of Nate and Sophie, the young couple considered their future.  They had much in their favor, as they were deeply in love, had many friends and came from good families. But for all their hopes and dreams, they had little in the way of money to help realize them.

Sophie had dreamed of one day becoming an artist, and had already displayed considerable skill and creativity.  Nate dreamed of becoming a writer, but his early attempts were not highly successful and he worried that he lacked the talent to achieve recognition and with it the financial means to support a family.

But you cannot feed a family while writing, and soon Nate put aside his calling in order to take a position with the government as a quality control inspector.  It was boring, tedious work, and Nate hated it.  But the job was necessary because after a time Nate and Sophie had themselves and three children to care for.

So they made the best of it.  At night Nate would come home tired and depressed, and after dinner sit at his desk to write. But over time he sensed his passion for writing was dying, and he worried that he might never fulfill his promise.

And then disaster struck.  Nate was dismissed from his job.  Tedious and enervating though it was, he needed that job to support his family.

Heartbroken, he went home and told Sophie the news.  “What are we going to do?” he asked.

“Nate,” replied Sophie, “you mustn’t worry.  I have a plan. Remember how you always used to say that if you only had the time to write you knew you could produce a great book? I know you’ve missed your writing and it’s been hard for you to put it aside to support us.  But now you must see that this is a great opportunity for us, because now you can devote yourself entirely to your writing.

“I’ve put aside a bit of money, and I can do some part-time work, and maybe sell a painting or two, but until your book is finished, that is how things will be, and I will see to it that we manage. Trust me on this Nate.”

So that’s what they did.  Every day over many long days, Nate wrote and Sophie managed the household. The children ate well, and the family was happy again.  And as for Nate, he wrote with a passion and a vision that he didn’t know he had, until finally he announced to Sophie that the book was finished and he would see if he could get it published.

And of course our story has a happy ending, because not only was Nate’s novel published, but it was a brilliant work and a popular sensation, establishing him as one of the pre-eminent writers of his time.

So the leadership recognition in today’s Fable Friday goes not to Nate, but to Sophie.  For it was Sophia Peabody who demonstrated leadership in this story.  She recognized her husband’s talent, showed her belief in him and insisted he follow his dream.  And once that decision was made, she gave all of herself to enable Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850 to publish one of America’s greatest novels, “The Scarlet Letter.”

We have quite a list of leadership qualities by now. We’ll explore another one next Fable Friday.  Meanwhile

Think Like Your Customer

About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at

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