Leadership Lessons from Wild Dogs: Embracing Unity in a Lion’s World

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December 7th, 2023 — Stevin Lipp

In the vast savannas of leadership philosophy, the lion often claims the throne. The ‘king of the jungle’ analogy resonates deeply with the pursuit of strength, dominance, and individual prowess. However, hidden in the shadows is an unsung hero—the African wild dog. In this blog post, we explore why the wild dog’s pack mentality might offer a more profound lesson in leadership than the stereotypical lion’s roar.

It's all in the numbers.

While lions boast about their place in the spotlight, the African Wild Dogs silently achieve unparalleled success rates of over 90% while hunting, compared to lions 30% success rate. Their secret? Teamwork.

In the world of leadership, where the emphasis is often on individual achievements, the wild dogs teach us that collaboration can be the key to extraordinary success.

Communication/ Collaboration is the Key

Communication is the glue that holds any successful team together. Wild Dogs exhibit a remarkable level of communication, synchronizing their actions seamlessly during the hunt & routine interactions. What if we, as leaders, embraced effective communication as a cornerstone of our collaborations? The wild dog’s lesson is clear: coordinated efforts yield powerful results. This challenges us to rethink how we communicate within our teams and organizations.

A Lesson in Servant Leadership

In the Wild Dog’s world, the culmination of a successful hunt is not marked by a feast reserved for the strongest or fastest. Instead, it’s an orchestration of compassion as the pack prioritizes the needs of its most vulnerable members—the old, sick, and disabled. This instinctual act beautifully mirrors the essence of servant leadership, challenging our conventional understanding of authority by beckoning us to question: What if our success as leaders was measured not by personal triumphs, but by our ability to uplift and serve those who need it the most?

Beyond the Corporate Jungle

In a corporate jungle where ‘being a lion’ is idealized, let’s reconsider what it means to lead. The Wild African Dog teaches us that leadership isn’t about individual dominance but about unity, communication, and looking out for one another. Imagine a workplace where collaboration trumps competition and service precedes ego. It’s a radical shift in perspective that could redefine the future of leadership.

Embrace Wild Dog Wisdom in your Leadership Journey

As we navigate the complexities of leadership, let’s adopt the wisdom of the African Wild Dog. Prioritize collaboration, communicate effectively, and, most importantly, look out for the well-being of your team. In doing so, not only do we become better leaders, but we also contribute to a more harmonious and successful work environment. The wild dog’s wisdom is a blueprint for leadership that focuses on sustainability and collective well-being.

In a world enamored with the lion’s might, let’s not forget the strength found in the unity of the African Wild Dawg. By incorporating these lessons into our leadership philosophies, we can build stronger, more resilient teams and redefine what it truly means to be a leader. In the end, maybe it’s time to be a Wild African Dog in a world that’s always lion-hearted.

This writing was inspired by Eric Thomas

March 2023, I was living a nightmare. On the verge of closing my insurance agency and in Las Vegas with my last $10,000. Fortunately, I was there for corporate business, not on a quest for a FedEx type of comeback at the blackjack table like Fred Smith did with his company in its early years, but a quest for knowledge from the likes of my companies top leaders & the all-star lineup of guest speakers they brought in. We had female phenomenon Kat Cole, Sports Phycologist David Cook, and #1 motivational speaker in the world Eric Thomas all in the house. 

I learned more being in a room with minds like that than I did in all 3.5 years I had in college before dropping out. Erics message will just resonate with me forever, though. Not because of his amazing public speaking abilities, but his work-ethic. It was clear Eric was not a naturally gifted public speaker, yet he was the #1 motivational speaker in the world at the time according to revenue. He just had a relentless energy to him that was evident as soon as you were in the same room with him. That’s probably how he manages to convince companies to give him $250k for 45 minutes of his time. If just half the people in that room were as inspired by him as I was that day, then I know the company saw a return on their investment from the economical difference made by their employees after that day.

Of course, his point he made about African Wild Dogs stuck with me, but the thing that stuck with me the most? His work ethic and attitude of servant leadership. Before anyone knew who Eric was, he was posting inspirational videos daily to YouTube & social media. He wanted to bring value EVERY SINGLE DAY to the people who were giving him value in his life. His videos & messages continue to push people past what they thought they were capable of to this day, including myself. 

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