Friday, August 12, 2011

Give Me a Lion King

having taken some heat for my stance on leadership, perhaps i've failed to explain my thought. worse, perhaps people are willing to ask less of their leaders these days.  i however have no malaise for those that would be king.  what i've learned on the farm, is once you take leadership of the land, a myriad of duties are now your responsibility.  because of this, it is easy to become lost in the details.  still, should a leader lose their way they need look no further than their responsibility to those they lead.  it takes a lion.

it was while enjoying a fine bottle of wine in South Africa, safely enclosed in my rental car, that I watched a true leader at work.  for hours we enjoyed taking in the wisdom of those majestic felines.

lions and the big male that leads the pride is often referred to as the king of the animal kingdom.  when I began to understand the responsibilities of the big male I soon realized it was not his size that made him leader, it was his understanding of his duty to the pride.

often seen as lazy, our favorite image of the big male is of a cat relaxed beneath a tree, enjoying solitude and some cool shade.  meanwhile, the rest of the pride tends to family needs, hunting and the like, while the alpha male seemingly does nothing but think.  don't be fooled however, the big male uses all that thinking to prepare.  when a challenge arise, the lion acts desively as the prides leader.  when he fails to do so, or doesn't responded in a manner fitting the leader of that pride, or worse he fails to act for the betterment of the pride, no matter how big that male is, that cats time as leader is over.

it is the females of a lion pride that own the land.  genetic traits show us that it is the alpha female who's bloodline can be traced back deep into the history of the land, not the males.  male lions are only brought in by the pride to lead to be the leader for a time.  those lions are quickly asked to move when they are no longer up for the task of leading.  point being, the big bad do it myself lion must think of the pride first.  also, a big lazy lion that leaves the pride to govern it self soon, discover a pride does; that pride finds a new big male lion.

the saying goes it is lonely at the top.  it can be lonely too, alone thinking beneath a tree.  the task of a leader is not popularity.  a leader is not a rock star nor an idol.  a leader has the task to lead, in good times and bad.  when the economy is in flux, when the nation is at war, when unemployment is at unacceptable high levels their is no more time for deep thought in a shady spot.  We are at a point when our leaders need to step into the heat and take action.  and if we don't want to loose this land it is our responsibility to remind them of their responsibility.

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