There are many types of leadership : autocratic, participatory, communicative and motivational… There is no magic formula for becoming a leader. However, psychologists, anthropologists and biologists have long agreed on the possibility of becoming a leader by learning animal behaviour, which can provide business leaders with tools to better manage their people and drive productivity and collaboration. Like all people, managers and leaders must be true to their own type of animal magic and exploit their nature for positive gains.
More and more studies show the similarities between human and animal behaviour. This vision can be applied to both society and the world of business, where animal behaviour becomes a good tool for learning how to lead and motivate your team and therefore the leaders of the future.
To develop new team management techniques, we should not limit ourselves to human behaviour but adopt some animal magic.
There are even those who suggest that leadership is nothing more than an evolution of the animal instinct, leading us to choose the strongest, most dominant person as “herd leader”. Having management solutions for business managers and knowing the command strategies in the animal kingdom allows business leaders to incorporate best practice into their organisations.
Do you recognise these types of animal behaviour and can you apply them to business leadership styles?
A lion is born to be a leader
This animal is characterised by a majestic and elegant attitude. It works cooperatively but is also dominant and autonomous in decisive moments, such as hunting. Moved to a business environment, the leader is able to delegate tasks to employees to deal with other activities relevant to the organisation.
According to this personality study, dynamism and decision-making stand out in the lion’s strengths. The lion is very organised and works to objectives. Although it may be authoritarian, the lion is a social animal. If you recognise yourself as a lion, if you strive to improve communication with your subordinates you can achieve your goals.
Is the cheetah truly solitary?
Its superiority is not based so much on its strength as on its speed . The cheetah does not stand out because of its power, it is not a back runner – but rather a sprinter.
At the business level, they are leaders who want to thrive quickly in their businesses, which translates into a great ability to work feverishly. These manager types need to surround themselves with an agile team capable of working independently.
Chimpanzee – the collaborative champion
Opposite to this is the chimpanzee. It stands out for its cognitive abilities like empathy, being very close in DNA to the human being. The leader of the pack is characterised by its flexibility to pose different solutions to a problem.
The chimpanzee-type manager has a great capacity to plan and is able to work in a team for a common objective. Without doubt, both really useful skills for a leader.
Ant – strength in unity
Like chimpanzees, ants work for a shared goal directed by the queen ant. As with other colonies of thousands of small animals, their strength lies in their union, which allows them to fulfil their function and defend themselves against external dangers. Having a united group to deal with adversity is one of the main strengths for any leader.
The queen ant knows how to delegate functions and each member accepts their responsibility. Thus, the colony is able to solve problems that individually pose a threat. That is, collective work provides a superior power to the individual, as this National Geographic article suggests. Although it is an opposite approach to the cheetah, it offers optimum results in team and business management.