Stories for Storytellers
The Finger and the Moon

The Finger and the Moon

A tale about leadership.

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The misstep almost knocked the Monk out of his balance, the slip of his foot shifted not only the rocky earth that gave support to his feet but also awakened the movement of some small stones that went downhill on a journey that would require them a very long time to stay still again.

A few minutes later he took the last vertical step with the help of a staff and found himself at the top of that extremely privileged geolocation, where a young woman sat on a rock while observing the moon.

— What a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to meet someone here. What is your name, daughter?

— And I would never expect to meet a monk at the very top of the Andes mountain. My friends call me Braveheart. How about you Mr. Monk?

— Curious name. People call me Shifu. That is mandarin for “mentor”.

— You look old, sir. How did you manage to get up here?

— Well young lady, I wanted to visit this spot for one last time while I still have the willpower to do so with my old creaky bones. Said the Shifu as he seated on a rock to rest his legs, and positioned the staff on his back.

— This is the most perfect spot on earth, isn’t it? I come here every now and then just to gaze at the moon.

— Well, I come here to feel the unmeasurable weight of this mountain on my feet.

— And where is the fun in that? Wait. That phrase didn’t make any sense. Are you trying to bamboozle me, Shifu?

The Shifu calmly smiled as he looked at Braveheart sitting on another stone just some meters away, rose his right arm with his fist closed, and pointed his index finger to the moon.

— See this finger, daughter? Where is it pointing at?

— To a massive, shiny, and beautiful moon. The very reason why I’m here! Replied Braveheart without really

understanding the reason for that question.

— Now return your eyes to my hand, what do you see?

— Well, I see a finger pointing at the moon, I’m getting so confused Mr. Shifu. Tell me the truth. Are you high? Said Braveheart with half-closed while feeling suspicious.

— Do not mistake the finger for the moon.

— Do not mistake... the finger for the moon?

— Yes, daughter. This is the lesson. One of them is within your reach, whereas the other one, can only be admired from afar.

Beautiful story, isn't it?

Leaders need to cultivate the ability to dream, to see the moon so that they have a reason to fight, a cause to wear, and a flag to hold, leading their team together in a vision of a better future - be it an innovative product, a brand the world needs, or a company that aims to do things differently. However, do not forget: the essence of Buddhism is balance and neutrality, which is precisely why the tale addresses both perspectives. The moon, yes, but also the finger, the reality), because after we dream, the time comes to act with what we have in front of us, the finger, to face the problems and to remember that real life is not so magical, but the simple fact of having the memory of the moon should be enough to nourish us and to help us win any battle.

So, 3 take-home points: 

  1. You are a leader, be your team big or small, a team of one, you, maybe. But you are a leader.

  2. A leader must alternate between the moon and the finger to find the balance point of his team's growth and inspiration. Otherwise, if people only work for the money (and not for a vision), death will be slow, and quiet quitting will take over the corporate culture as it will become sick due to the lack of values and principles that could make employees believe that their work makes a positive impact on the world.

  3. Now you know you're a leader, you must decide if you really want to be a leader who nurtures the growth of everyone around you. If so, you must not only be able to dream but prove that you know how to point at your destination. To where your finger points, your eyes, and soul will follow.

3. Credits

Voice-over Artist / Sound Engineering: Amanda de Andrade
Amanda has designed and recorded voice-overs for the top brands and most profitable companies in the world (over 720+ projects), some of them, being Amazon and Microsoft. She approaches voice performance artistically as well as scientifically while providing tactics, and novel vocal sound design for growth.

Scriptwriting: Thiago Patriota
Thiago is a seasoned marketing executive and published fiction author who found in the written expression his weapon to fight for a better future with more stories and heroes. He is responsible for turning executive visions into reality by helping pinpoint the design & storytelling behind projects and developing marketing strategies that encompass the digital, bidirectional, and metareality scenario we live in.

Soundtrack: Presence and Intention
Presence and Intention is a Brazillian instrumental Lofi and Jazzhop project that combines electric guitar, piano, sax, e-drums, and other instruments, blending digital and acoustic, the nostalgic and the novelty. The team aims to ambient music that enhances the immersion in the present moment, furnishing harmony in meditative, chilling, and working moments.

Stories for Storytellers
Welcome to Stories for Storytellers! We are making better marketing professionals one story at a time. This is a place for communication professionals and entrepreneurs to get inspired with a blast of creativity! By rescuing long-forgotten stories and giving them a contemporary feel, we aim to teach the art of storytelling while preparing our listeners to become autonomous marketing professionals. Hosted by Amanda de Andrade, who have designed and recorded voice-overs for the top brands and most profitable companies in the world, and Thiago Patriota, a seasoned marketing executive and writer.
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Appears in episode
Thiago Patriota
Amanda de Andrade