[After Sertorius' Spanish allies were humiliated in battle they became demoralized.] Wishing to dispel their dejection, after a few days he called a general assembly before which he brought two horses. One was totally weak and well past its prime, the other sizable and strong, possessing a tail amazing for its thick, beautiful hairs. By the side of the weak one stood a tall, powerful man; by the strong horse another man who was small and contemptible in appearance. Once a signal was giving them, the strong man with both hands violently dragged the horse-tail towards himself, as if to tear it off; the weak man plucked out the hairs of the strong horse one by one. The first individual gave up on his attempt, after giving himself a lot of trouble for nothing (and plenty of laughs to the audience). However, the weak man quickly and effortlessly stripped clean the horse's tail. Sertorius rose up and said, "Look, allies: perseverance has more efficacy than brute force, and many things that cannot be overcome when they stand together yield to one who is systematic. Persistence is invincible, through which time on its march captures and subdues any opposing force, being a friendly ally to those deliberately awaiting their opportunity.

source: Plutarch, Life of Sertorius, 16.3-5 tags: Persistence, Teams