能ある鷹は爪を隠す is a popular Japanese proverb that means a skilled person does not need to show off their abilities. I have had the pleasure of meeting such a person who embodied this proverb in their actions and behavior.
The person I am referring to is a colleague of mine who works in the same department as me. We were introduced to each other during a company event, and I immediately noticed how humble and unassuming they were. Despite their impressive credentials and expertise, they did not try to impress others or dominate the conversation.
Over the next few weeks, I had the opportunity to work closely with this person on a project. As we collaborated, I began to appreciate their skills and knowledge even more. They had a deep understanding of the subject matter and were able to offer valuable insights and suggestions. However, they did not try to impose their ideas on others or take credit for the work.
One incident that stands out in my mind is when we were in a meeting with our boss and other team members. Our boss presented a problem and asked for suggestions on how to solve it. My colleague listened attentively to everyone’s ideas and then offered a solution that was both innovative and practical. However, instead of claiming credit for the solution, they simply said, “I heard about a similar approach from a colleague in another company. Maybe we could adapt it to our situation.” This was a clear example of how they embodied the proverb, “能ある鷹は爪を隠す.”
Another instance was when we were working on a report that required a lot of data analysis. My colleague had excellent analytical skills and could have easily done all the work themselves. However, they asked me and another team member to help with the analysis and even taught us some new techniques. They did not consider themselves to be superior or above us in any way, but rather saw us as equals who could all contribute to the project.
Aside from their actions, my colleague’s behavior also reflected the proverb, “能ある鷹は爪を隠す.” They were always polite and respectful to others, regardless of their position or status. They never spoke negatively about anyone or engaged in gossip. They also did not seek attention or praise for their work but rather focused on doing their best and helping the team succeed.
Furthermore, they were always willing to listen to others and consider different perspectives. They did not have a rigid or dogmatic approach but rather remained open-minded and flexible. This allowed them to adapt to different situations and collaborate effectively with others.
Meeting someone who embodies the proverb, “能ある鷹は爪を隠す,” was a valuable experience for me. It taught me the importance of humility, respect, and collaboration in the workplace. I realized that being skilled and knowledgeable is not enough to be successful; one must also have the right attitude and behavior.
I hope to continue working with my colleague and learning from their example. They have shown me that true leadership is not about dominating others or showing off one’s abilities but rather about empowering others and working together towards a common goal.