Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 2564
, Published on 06 February 2013
Life started on this kind earth billions of years ago, and there have been great debates for centuries regarding how the human beings originated on this planet to become the most astute and omnipotent animal. Most scientists would agree that the modern day HOMO SAPIENS had descended from simpler forms of life. This belief was concreted by a naturalist, Charles Darwin, in 1859, in his revolutionary book ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’ in which he states that all creatures have attained their modern state of life forms through a long process of natural changes. He went further in ‘The Descent of Man’ to state that human beings descended from sub-human forms of life. Scientific evidences bolster the fact that human beings share proximity with animals like apes, chimpanzees and monkeys. Formerly Human Types, we got separated from the apes and started walking on the hind legs; this married with other environmental reasons possibly could have led to the evolution of human beings.
Man today rules the Animal Kingdom without any rival; thanks to the vast knowledge he possesses. But this supreme position does not guarantee them knowledge of everything. In fact man can learn many things from animals, either inferior or superior to them. Leonardo Da Vinci said,” Everything is connected to everything else”. As a management student, I would like to focus on what nitty gritty Management Gyan one could learn from our new Management Gurus- from the Animal Planet.
The Crocodile Manager
Timing coupled with right location is what the crocodile needs to nab its prey. The crocodile will lie quietly in the swamps and shallow waters without making any agitation. It waits for the herbivores to come in search of drinking water. When they arrive the crocodile pretends as if it is dead and there is no reason for the animals to fear. Under this pretention, the animals advance and so does the croc. When it finds itself within the reach of the prey, it attacks suddenly, taking the prey by surprise. Its powerful jaws do the rest. Thus as a manager one needs to wait patiently for the right moment to take the economics of advantage to turn things around in his favour, as done by the crocodile.
The Hippo manager
Hippos are one of the heaviest and largest mammals on the planet. They are semi aquatic everyone knows that they love water and swamps. In fact their reproduction and childbirth also happen there. What is surprising is that they love defecating in the water which becomes food for many fishes, thus helping in maintaining ecological balance. Now what can a management student learn from a hippo shit? For a small animal like fish, sometimes small mangers have to depend on shits of bigger animal. Here shit obviously does not mean shit in real sense. And my sincere apologies for using such a word, but consider the fact that an entrepreneur for the lack of resources is not able to start his venture. He is at the mercy of Venture capitalists- the hippos. Initially they will have to swallow the excreta of the hippos to survive. And once it grows big enough it can find other means. The entire concept of recycling rests on this form of ecological balance.
The Lion Manager
Alert Everyone! The king has made its entry.
Lions have a serious disadvantage, their heart are considerably smaller compared to their body weight (0.5% approx.) thus a lion can run fast but only in short sprints. To overcome this disadvantage they usually hunt during night or under cover. They would patiently wait for the herd of animals to come to their reach. They target the animal closest to them. Their focus is entirely on one animal. Once within its reach, it will make a short and powerful attack to strangulate the prey. One must remember that a lion usually kills animals which are bigger in size that itself. A manager here needs to learn that even the king has weak points, but he still reigns undisputedly only because he knows how to minimise its weaknesses and work on its stronger counts.
Need for Speed Manager
For the cheetah, speed is everything. Its light and slender built up helps it attaining astonishing speed. But that does not guarantee success alone. Once it has made its lethal attack, it needs to finish eating it up, lest it will be chased away by bigger animals like lions. Otherwise even after making the chase it would not be able to relish its success. So what’s in store for a manager? One not only needs to act swiftly on an opportunity, but also needs to reap its benefits before anyone else spoils your fun.
Out of the Crowd Manager
Giraffes can take advantage of its tall height to eat leaves from even tall trees. Not only that, a giraffe due to its towering height can look far in to the fields, and sense danger even it is far off. They also have perfect vision which helps them have a panoramic overview of any opportunity that lies ahead of it. Like the giraffe, a manager needs to realise opportunities and dangers even if they are far off from us, otherwise it will remain totally aloof from what can be in store for them.
Soaring high Manager
‘Vision’ is one of the most powerful lessons that can be learnt from an eagle. Eagle flies at a great height but that does not deter it from visualising even the smallest activity on the ground. It can spot even a small rat from that height. When noticed, it swoops down at a great speed to nab its prey and fly away. As a manager one must know the ground realities even when one is at a great height.
When the eagle grows old, it tears off its old feathers with its claws. Even though it results in heavy bleeding, this is necessary if it needs to live longer. Thus like the eagle a manager should also be able to take harsh decisions when required, else he won’t survive. Change is necessary and change is inevitable.
In fact in many paintings we find eagle with a background of a roaring ocean or a raging sunrays. This symbolises determination, greatness and optimism.
Team work manager
Have you ever seen birds flying in the sky? During winters, they fly thousands of miles to far off places in search of places with suitable weather conditions. If you notice carefully, you will see that they fly in a particular v shaped formation. The upwards vortex fields created by the birds flying in the front is so great that the last bird needs to use minimum energy to fly. Moreover the birds behind make sound so that the birds in front get encouraged. When some of the birds get exhausted they exchange positions with the birds at the last line, thus enabling them to fly such long distances. Bonding together, conserving energy and encouraging each other in difficult times can get you out of even a difficult situation. Work would be fulfilling
What better example of team work can one get other than this? I guess every aspiring manager is reading this.
The Horse Manager
Horses have an astonishing sense of balance. In its unconscious sense it can feel its footing and can sense where its body and limbs are. In some cultures horses symbolise prosperity while in some it means good luck. Thus like the horse a worthy manager should be able to balance every aspect of the market and the organisation and side by side be conscious of the organisation’s current position, someone who can self monitor his own work besides other’s.
The Crane Manager
In Chinese mythology cranes are regarded as bearers of wisdom. They carried sages from one world to another. In reality, cranes are opportunist. Ornithologists say that they can change their diet according to the conditions, which enable them to stay alive even in adverse conditions. Like the crane, managers must be adaptable to situations and agile. They must be able to quickly adhere to the changes in the external environment or else they would perish.
Slow and Steady- the Tortoise Manager
Tortoises are symbols of longevity. It has a rock hard shell which protects its inner body making it resilient. Tortoises also have a habit of exploring the outer environment and travelling astonishing distances. Similarly a manager should also be able to resilient in harsh conditions and when provided with an opportunity should be able to explore outer environment.
Examples are many and it is highly impossible to list each and every animal’s managerial abilities. Even dogs can teach valuable lessons. Highly reliable and sensitive even in sleep, managers can even learn from dogs. Aesop fables is a perfect book for every manager. So the next time you visit a zoo, try to look at them with a different outlook. It’s like an Orwellian ‘Animal Farm”