What Do Wolves and Leadership Have In Common

So exactly what do wolves have to do with CEO Strategist and leadership? The wolf is a very social animal. They travel together, eat together, hunt together and play together. There are referred to as a pack. The pack is generally a larger family group. Wolves within the pack are related by blood line. Being accepted, respected and cared for by their siblings and parents is important to the wolf. Isn’t being cared about, trusted and respected important to every employee of every successful organization in the country?

Just as management hierarchies vary in size, wolf packs vary in size but average six to seven members. Does that sound like an executive team? Each pack member plays a specific role with a very specific rank. Some young wolfs go off on their own (Lone Wolves), in search of their status. Generally speaking, the older wolves in the pack tend to be the leaders and they command the respect of the pack. They make the decisions for the group. The pack protects itself and it protects one another. The lead wolf plays the role just as it sounds. He leads the pack. In fact, they generally will travel in single file with the lead wolf blazing the trail and setting the pace. Sounds like the role of the CEO doesn’t it? The lead wolf however, is not afraid to share his roll. He will at times step aside to allow another up and coming wolf to take the lead. Make no mistake; each wolf in the pack has specific responsibilities. Each know in their own right that even if they don’t aspire to be lead wolves, they must be prepared to step up to that responsibility if called upon. Does this have any relationship to bench strength and succession?

Dominant wolves in the pack that do aspire to be leaders establish them selves in various ways. They might be larger, stronger or simply have a more aggressive personality. Captive wolves have been studied for years indicating complex behavior with regard to governance within the pack. Their communication with one another is also more elaborated than most of the other animal species.

Wolves are very patient of themselves and of one another. They are very focused on their objective whatever it may be at the time. They respect each others role and depend that each wolf in the pack will live up to their individual responsibility. This in itself promotes group unity. Wolves are very careful that they do not enter into redundant duplicate efforts. Each wolf can be heard by the pack; a form of individual respect. Could we actually write a corporate mission statement from this paragraph? Wolves have a sense of urgency. They depend on one another. They are very focused hard workers when it comes to feeding themselves. They are one of the wilds most effective hunters and yet in spite of that they hunt to live. They do not live to hunt. They live by an unwritten code that says the good of the pack comes first. How often do we uncover unsuccessful companies that are unsuccessful because the CEO or ownership put personal needs ahead of business needs?

Lastly, one of the most common characteristics of the most successful leaders in wholesale distribution today is the extreme sense of curiosity. Wolves share this incessant curiosity about the world around them. They investigate everything, taking nothing for granted. They seek out opportunity. They have established specific priorities. Isn’t that what successful leaders in business do today starting with the development of a strategic plan?

CEO Strategist LLC definitely believes that wolves demonstrate a distinctive relationship to successful leadership in the world of business today. That is why we have chosen the Wolf as part of our logo. The first in a series of book publications explaining this relationship in business terms relative to leadership is being published in November 2005; Lone Wolf – Lead Wolf “The Evolution of Sales”. Look for a specific announcement on our website. A follow-up book publication; Lone Wolf – Lead Wolf “The Evolution of Leadership” is due to be published in January 2006.

Dr. Rick Johnson (rick@ceostrategist.com) is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC. an experienced based firm specializing in leadership for wholesale distribution. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with company executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352-750-0868, or visit http://www.ceostrategist.com for more information.

Rick received an MBA from Keller Graduate School in Chicago, Illinois and a Bachelor's degree in Operations Management from Capital University, Columbus Ohio. Rick recently completed his dissertation on Strategic Leadership and received his Ph.D. He’s also a published book author with four titles to his credit: “The Toolkit for Improved Business Performance in Distribution,” the NWFA & NAFCD “Roadmap”, Lone Wolf-Lead Wolf—The Evolution of Sales” and a fiction novel “Shattered Innocence.” Rick’s next book due in November is titled; Lone Wolf – LEad Wolf The Evolution of Leadership

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