DISCUSSION QUESTION: after reading this article, what resonates? How have you participated in “recession leadership” and, what attributes about yourself can you tap into that align with “rhino leaders”?
“Like a future- focused leader, the rhino is hard-charging when necessary, and he knows when to rest. He’s aware of what other animals in the vicinity are doing, but he doesn’t tailor his behaviour to match or accommodate theirs.”
If you want to see recession leadership, visit the zoo and look at the rhinoceros.
That’s the advice of serial entrepreneur Christian Warren. He says it’s easy in a recession for leaders to pull back and accept their fate.
But rhino-leaders cultivate a mindset that they can make money and thrive even in the worst of times.
He says rhino-leaders are sensitive to the environment, great listeners, thick-skinned and well balanced. “Like a future-focused leader, the rhino is hard-charging when necessary, and he knows when to rest. He’s aware of what other animals in the vicinity are doing, but he doesn’t tailor his behaviour to match or accommodate theirs,” Mr. Warren writes in Leadership Excellence.
To succeed, you need to emulate rhinos. Don’t assume the environment determines your success. Be aggressive: Figure out how to attract and make money in this – or any – economy.
He cites Steve Jobs as an example. The Apple Inc. chief executive officer – currently sidelined with an illness – launched the updated iPhone when gas prices were soaring, the housing market was in a slump, and the economic mood in North America was grim. He could have held off, figuring with the economy faltering, launching an expensive phone would be futile.
“Jobs didn’t waiver. Instead, he charged like a rhino, and it worked,” Mr. Warren observes. Mr. Jobs ignores doomsayers, creates unique products that people feel they must have, and tramples what gets in his way.
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