The cosmopolitan city of Sherman needed to elect a new mayor. Two men aspired to become mayor: Mr. Jones and Mr. Webb. Mr. Jones was a tall, handsome man. He was a phenomenal speaker, and the citizens loved him. However, Mr. Jones didn’t know much about running a city. He was a pathological liar who merely flattered people with his words. Mr. Webb was very different. He was a small, unattractive man. He was lame and limped when he walked. But he was an expert on politics and knew what was best for the people.
The citizens of Sherman didn’t care about what the politicians had to say. No one listened to Mr. Webb, even though he had great ideas. They cheered when Mr. Jones spoke, although he didn’t talk about important things. His pretty words put people in a trance. All the polls predicted that Mr. Jones would win the election.
When the votes were totaled, Mr. Jones won easily. But when he took office, he didn’t know what to do! He tried to hide his ignorance by working in secrecy. He added a law to the city’s constitution that prevented citizens from seeing the mayor. He even censored newspapers that tried to disseminate information about his inability to help the people.
Soon, however, Mr. Jones became infamous for his poor leadership. There was an outburst of anger among the citizens. They were full of remorse for their misguided decision to elect an ignorant mayor. They voted to remove Mr. Jones and let Mr. Webb take over. Immediately, Mr. Webb proved that he was a great mayor. He abolished Mr. Jones’s law, and he was willing to talk openly with everyone. He tackled important issues and amended unfair laws in the city’s charter.
The citizens learned that a pleasant appearance and nice words do not make a good leader. The most important qualities are intelligence and a desire to help others.