The Strategy of the Lion 2

Lions don’t have to roar. There is power in silence, confidence, and persistence. Those who work don’t talk, and those who talk don’t work. Handle your business. Measure your efforts by results. Focus your time, energy, and activity on mastering and executing a plan. – Les Brown

If you missed the earlier part, you can still read it here

The Lion as the King of the Jungle was not king by wishful thinking, it was a deliberate effort that distinguished it apart from others. The male lion is recognizable by his flowing mane and the awesomeness it displays and the majestic way he carries himself when leading his pride…or has the pictures always portray.

But do you know the Lion, the Male Lion is been referred to here, is the laziest in the Lion Pride? Ohh you didn’t know?? He spends his day either sleeping, snoozing, or defending his territory which is not often and rarely participates in hunting for the kill. And curiously, when there is a kill, he’s the first to eat to his heart’s content before others eat. So who hunts you ask, the Lioness leads the hunt with other female lions and young males in the pride who are yet to come of age. She leads the hunts, directs the attack and counter-attack, while the king is busy watching from his throne or snoozing somewhere in the grassy knoll. So you wonder, if he does not participate, why then is he the King? You are wrong.

The Lion King chooses the hunts he wants to partake in. He does not partake in small kills, he partakes in the big kills like a huncho Buffalo kill, a Hippopotamus, or on rare occasions, an Elephant. Aside from that, there are jungle enforcers who have no respect for anyone should you be caught straggling. The Hyenas, reputed to have one of the most powerful bites in the whole animal kingdom more often terrorize the lionesses and seize their kill should they gang up against them. And they do it for all the big Cats in the jungle. At the scent of blood, they gather and try to muscle the kill away from the owner and they are successful most of the time. But let the Lion show up, they run with their c1aacf1a752d4a2fb0fb68daaa5dc0a3tails tucked between their legs in fear. So he basically shows up when it matters most and pulls his weight. He essentially knows his objective and delivers on it. Aaron Hill rightly captures it this way,

“Courage is poorly housed that dwells in numbers; the lion never counts the herd that are about him, nor weighs how many flocks he has to scatter.”

As a business owner, what exactly are your objective and goal? What is your mission? Are you involved in every running of your business as a CEO or Business owner? Are you a one-man battalion, running shod over everything trying to make your presence felt and strutting your capabilities, abilities, and disabilities? Or better put, are you leading a team in the true spirit of teammanship or you are simply the team. When you try to enforce team spirit and you struggle to convince a team that they are a team, you are simply the team, you are not leading any team!

Look at the Lion, he heads a pride/team. And in that team he leads, everyone knows their objectives, deliverables, and goals. He does not interfere in what they do, is it taking care of the kids, scouting, hunting…everyone plays their roles and when it matters as a single unit. The moment you have a personal agenda…you are out. And that is what usually happens to the young male lions…they get expelled/released from the Pride to go lead their own team and forge new territories. Young male lions reach a stage where they need to conquer their own territory, and leave the pride. At that stage, they have become “too big” for the pride to manage and it would turn to a clash of egos, testosterone, strength and wits.

Our Business model most evolve from one man showmanship to team-showmanship. We must understand when to delegate and when to share responsibilities. It does no one any good if you do it all by yourself and drop dead. Several Nigerian businesses have and are suffering this fate because they don’t understand the essence of delegating, coaching, and nurturing for the future. It’s all about them and their egos. And I think that’s where the first battle lies, knowing your true worth. Thomas More captures it this way, “If the lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him.” In other words, a personal SWOT Analysis is a key step to winning on the jungle battlefield. Then appraise your team, what are their different areas of Strengths and weakness…have them operate and maximize the best out of them where it matters most and they can achieve their goals without undue sweat nor pressure.

So you want your organization, team, business to work in sync without hiccups? Then start with a clear goal that is overarching over every other goal. Do not mix up the goals you want to achieve. Let it be clear as daylight, “this is what I want to achieve”, So it is clear to everyone what you are setting out to achieve without any ambiguity. Lack of clarity is always a red flag in any endeavor. If the objective of a mission is not clear, soldiers become needless casualties of war.

Then put systems in place that would aid you to achieve them. James Clear paints it this way, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems”. What systems do you have in place that can allow your business to run on automation without you having to worry or be changing process arbitrarily?

How consistent are you in your policy and decision. Are you here today, and there tomorrow with no clear guidelines of what to do? It is your commitment to the process that can clearly define your progress as an enterprise, company, or individual. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy …You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. And a successful system can take any form or shape…and not necessarily the one you envisioned.

How accountable and responsible are you as a leader or business owner? The Lion knows he’s responsible for his pride hence he ensures they are protected and covered all the time. He does not abandon them nor leave them to chance. Lions that had abandoned their responsibilities always meet fierce resistance from the females when they try to return to the pride. And it takes a whole convincing and building of trust before they are accepted in the pride. So has a business owner, are you accountable to your team? Do you owe them explanations for your actions and inactions or you think, “what the heck…” Apart from your team, who are you accountable to? Are you open to counsel, suggestions from others? Are you open enough to allow contrary opinions that do not necessarily suit you? If you hold the thought of, “The lion does not concern itself with the opinions of the sheep” you are probably on a free fall that would certainly not augur well at the end of the day. The good book says “there is wisdom in a multitude of counsel.” All counsels do not have to be palatable to you. If you surround yourself with ‘yes-men’, you would not rise above ‘yes-results’. “If you want to be a lion, you have to train with lions.” – Anonymous.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”  – Steve Jobs

The Lion is not the smartest in the Pride, but it sure knows how to engage the pride to deliver results on the field. You need to see the Pride when they go on a hunt. They have different strategies they deploy on the field to get a kill; ambushing, stalking, direct charge, and several other strategies. In a nutshell, you are not the only smartest man in the room.

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