Recently I was in a discussion about the impact of leaders on organisational culture.
It reminded me of Stephen Berry’s Strategies of the Serengeti and the first chapter of the book: Giraffe.
He uses the giraffe as a metaphor for leadership vision. And that’s because the giraffe is not only very tall, it has very large eyeballs and can see what is going on at a distance, which means it is the first animal to notice predators.
All the other animals keep an eye on the giraffe and when the giraffe moves, they move.
And that’s exactly what happens in organisations. Everyone is keeping an eye on the Chief Exec, or their own team leader, to see what they say and do.
So if we want a more inclusive, compassionate culture we need leaders who model exactly that. Leaders at every level impact the culture, because whether they know it or not everyone is watching.
Berry’s book if full of interesting animal metaphors. What’s your favourite Serengeti animal?