July 31, 2019•614 words
The Frog King
On the hunt for Rand, Perrin and the others rest in Jarra. Perrin makes an important, likely life-changing discovery: he and Elyas are not the only two humans in the world who can talk to wolves. Unfortunately, Simion's brother Noam seems to have been fully consumed by the wolf spirit; an outcome that Perrin's been unaware of as he comes to terms with his abilities. Moreover, Perrin gets a sharp reminder of basic leadership:
[Simion] gave a start at Perrin's eyes, but his own already protruding eyes went wide when they fell on Loial. With his wide mouth and no chin to speak of, he looked something like a frog.
Perrin, The Dragon Reborn, p. 72
"[The Children of the Light] always have a list of names, Darkfriends they're looking for. It was Noam's eyes, you see. One of the names the Whitecloaks had was for a fellow named Perrin Aybara, a blacksmith. They said he has yellow eyes, and runs with wolves. You can see why I didn't want them to know about Noam."
Perrin turned his head enough to look at Simion over his shoulder. "Do you think this Perrin Aybara is a Darkfriend?"
"A Darkfriend wouldn't care if my brother died in a cage,. I suppose she found you soon after it happened. In time to help. I wish she'd come to Jarra a few months ago.
Perrin was ashamed that he had ever compared the man to a frog. "And I wish she could have done something for him." Burn me, I wish she could. Suddenly it burst on him that the whole village must know about Noam. About his eyes. "Simion, would you bring me something to eat in my room?" Master Harod and the rest might have been too taken with staring at Loial to notice his eyes before, but they surely would if he ate in the common room.
"Of course. And in the morning, too. You don't have to come down until you are ready to get on your horse."
"You are a good man, Simion. A good man." Simion looked so pleased that Perrin felt ashamed all over again.
Simion and Perrin, The Dragon Reborn, p. 83
Making a snap judgment about a man whom he just met, Perrin forgets a core tenet of leadership: treat everyone with dignity and respect. The interaction with Simion, and with Noam, provides Perrin a trove of information about the nature of being a wolfbrother; Perrin's initial reaction was to simply discount Simion and everything he said. At least Perrin has the self-awareness to recognize his mistake and correct himself.
We often say that "people are our greatest asset"; but the proof is in how we, as leaders, interact with all our team members. Brushing someone aside shuts down a career of ideas from that person. It may even drive the individual to find work where their talents are appreciated. As a leader, it's important to remember that every interaction with every individual on the team or in the organization be treated as if the life of the organization is at stake. Because, it many ways, it really is.