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A young lion went out to explore his territory surrounding enters an unknown territory filled with hyenas and teaches so many management and life lessons

Management lessons from Red – the lion

Red is a young inexperienced lion out to explore his new territory. He gets curious and goes into unknown territory and gets attacked by a group of more than 20 hyenas pack

  1. The first lesson companies and management can learn from Red is that when you set out to explore a new territory always look out for competitors surrounding and attacking you unexpectedly
  2. The second management lesson is never let your guard down even if you are alone and no one is in sight at the moment. Red thought the field is clear and was busy exploring and enjoying the beauty of the new territory that he did not see potential danger of a gang of rival hyenas ganging up on him threatening his very existence
  3.  Red teaches us that inexperience leads to over confidence when venturing out to unknown territory. Even a momentary lapse can lead to defeat or death. Too often companies fail as they are very short sighted or in experienced to see threats. The company’s product may be the best in quality but what really matters in the market is sales and publicity blitz not quality to sell the goods. Ex: HP Touch pad that was competing with Apples Ipad was a great product but failed to garner markets
  4. Red teaches never give up when surrounded by enemies or competitors. Try to save yourself and wait for opportune moment to escape or withdraw yourself from life threatening situations or crisis. Any moment help can arrive and the tide can change in your favour.  How often do we not hear because of a business loss an industrialist gave up his life or students failed in exams committed suicide or young adults lost their jobs and committed suicide. This is a lesson for all those who give up after one or without a fight in life fearing competition r failure. Never give up as there is a light at end of the tunnel. Just wait for the right time and you can overcome any adversary in life even life threats like Red.
  5. Red is a lion king of jungle but is attacked by hyenas. The lesson learned is when you are alone and in unkown territory even those who fear or respect you otherwise will not hesitate to attack and kill you.  A company may be leader in its own territory or product, but when exposed in others territory can be attacked by same people who respect or fear to compete with you in other territory’s. So never take any competition lightly, attack can come from those who show respect or fear you too. It all depends on circumstances 
  6. Another lesson from red is to save the most important or valuable thing at cost of short term pain. Red is not going all out to attack the pack of hyenas. Hes bidding his time and just attacking one off those hyenas when opportunity comes. But Red never forgets his prime task is to save his life and not show how superior a lion is above an hyena in strength. Red is trying to save his back as any injury to back will end his life as he cannot hunt or can become paralyzed for life. So Red is cleverly saving his back bone at cost of getting bites from hyenas pack to other parts of body that cannot cause a mortal injury. This is very important lesson for any company and even people. They look at gaining short term profits or gains and lose sight of the long term picture. They may get these short term gains but in long term they will lose the plot. Companies nowadays are so busy meeting short term profit targets that they lose the customer confidence and respect in long term by giving bad customer services. Companies also get so confident of their products they lose sight of new technologies or products over coming their products and services. Look at Kodak which was leader in cameras for decades but lost the race to other digital camera companies like Canon, Nikon in 1990s. Now the same digital cameras have lost majority of their market share to smart phones. IBM first thought that no one will buy desktops and lost the race to Dell and HP. Than it thought laptops have no demand and lost the race again. Every product or technology gets obsolete in a few years or decades but companies think so high of their products that they do not see the tide changing. Some companies think the new technology will never succeed and lose the race like Kodak, IBM etc. By the time they realize their error its too late. Its like the rabbit that was way ahead and decided to nap for sometime under a tree and lost the race to a tortoise.  This same lesson is applicable to human beings we are so busy chasing fame and success that we forget that in times of trouble only a true friend can help you. Everyone is busy collecting friends with benefits and finally in trouble they will keep waiting for a Tartoo to arrive when surrounded by enemy but no one will arrive to save them. So cultivate real friendship who will arrive when you are surrounded by enemies rather than people who will stay with you when tide is good and abandon you in grave times. This is true life lesson for companies as well as individuals.

Part 1 – The Lion
Part 2 – The Hyennas

Author: Lourdes D’souza is a management executive. She has a degree in Computer Science from St Joseph’s college Bangalore and General Management and Financial Risk Management degree from IIM, Bangalore.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.


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