An Appetite For Leadership

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A man was walking through the forest and saw a fox that had lost its legs. He couldn’t help wondering how it was able to survive.

A few minutes later he saw a tiger come by with some game in its mouth.

The tiger sat down to eat his game. Then, when he was full, he left the rest of his game for the fox.

The next day, and the day after, the same thing happened. The tiger brought his catch, had his share, and left the remainder for the fox.

The man began to wonder Why do I need to work so hard? Why not just sit back and trust that everything I need will come to me?  Why don’t I live like the fox and trust that my needs will be taken care of?

And so the next day, the man came back to the forest and sat himself down at the trunk of a tree and did nothing.  He placed all his trust in the fact that his needs would be met.

But as days went by, nothing happened—except that the man grew weaker and weaker.

By the end of the week he was near death, and in his delirium he heard a clear voice:

Why did you choose to imitate the disabled fox and not follow the lead of the tiger?

So many times in life and leadership we want to take the easy road. We feel entitled; we believe that good things should come our way whether or not we earn them.

But leadership is not about entitlement but hard work. To be our most effective, we should follow the lead of the tiger in the gifts we bring to those around us.

Tigers are a symbol of strength and power—courageous, active, and self-assured.

Lead with strength and self-assurance and you will bring the gift of fervent inspiration.

Tigers are fearless—they disregard danger and rush in where more cautious individuals would fear to tread.

Lead without fear and you will bring the gift of forceful courage.

Tigers are dynamic. Their energy and vitality are boundless.

Lead with enthusiasm and you will bring the gifts of intense creativity.

Tigers are independent, unconventional, and optimistic, daring fighters who are willing to stand up for what they think is right.

Lead with independence and tenderhearted tenacity and you will bring the gift of fierce commitment.

We always have a choice: we can sit idly by and wait for someone else’s leftovers, or we can go out and lead.

Lead From Within: No single trait of your leadership will be guaranteed to change the trajectory of your followers or company or relationships, but your leadership—in the sum of all its parts—will make a difference one person at a time. So make it as fierce as a tiger.


To lead in a way that is most valuable to you.
Find the answers in my National Bestselling book:

The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Additional Reading you might enjoy:

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.

29 Responses to “An Appetite For Leadership”

  1. LaRae Quy

    25. Feb, 2014

    I love this post…it has all the elements needed for mental toughness! And we all know that mental toughness starts with the heart 🙂

    Love this sentence: “We always have a choice: we can sit idly by and wait for someone else’s leftovers, or we can go out and lead.”

    Excellent!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      26. Feb, 2014

      Thanks LaRae, As we all know Life is tough, heart is the element that helps us navigate through the toughness.

      Love you.

      Thanks for lending us your wisdom.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  2. Jon Stallings

    25. Feb, 2014

    Great analogy Lolly. Similar to lead with courage is the ability of Leaders to move beyond the limitations of their current circumstances. The need for us to use what we have and not complain about what we don’t.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      26. Feb, 2014

      Lead with courage, lead with heart, lead with tenacity, lead ferociously… whatever it takes for you each one of us to lead with heart. Is what this message is about.

      Thanks Jon for your contribution of thought. Appreciate your insight.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  3. Terri Klass

    25. Feb, 2014

    I love the story you shared in your post, as it is a great visualization of what leaders can do to lead in a meaningful way.

    Sometimes we are tempted to take the leftovers if we don’t have the confidence to find our own food. Yet, we all have gifts that need to be discovered and honored. We just need to share those gifts with others in an open way.

    Thanks Lolly for an outstanding post!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      26. Feb, 2014

      So true, Terri, we all have the gifts, we all have inside each of us, what it takes to lead forward, to lead ferociously.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I admire you greatly.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  4. sridhar laxman

    26. Feb, 2014

    Lolly
    Thank you for the wonderful story
    Life is indeed all about the choices we make and decisions we take.The line ‘ Lead with enthusiasm and you will bring the gifts of intense creativity’ if powerful and if truly practiced could do wonders to the corporate workforce.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      26. Feb, 2014

      Dear Sridhar

      It could bring wonder, but we have to be fierce like a tiger to go for what we want, and to lead with enthusiasm and that takes courage.

      Thanks for stopping by, appreciate you.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Panteli Tritchew

    26. Feb, 2014

    Hi Lolly,
    I think that each of us has different animal spirit guides that surface at different times, in different circumstances. Maybe Western education should have a rite of passage into adulthood as in the the native American tradition? A spirit guide or power animal was considered essential for empowering individuals for success in challenging ventures.
    The Vision Quest of shamanistic cultures requires individuals to look deeply within to find spiritual guidance and purpose. We all have a tiger within, I believe. The tiger of your story performed service. Your work helps us look within and find our power animal. If we tame it, it serves us; if we don’t, we serve it.
    Thank you for your guidance and inspiration, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      01. Mar, 2014

      Panteli

      I love the idea of having an animal spirit guide and knowing we each have a power animal within.

      Thanks for your insightful comment.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Chris jones

    26. Feb, 2014

    Lolly

    Great story that conjures many thoughts and issues with leadership. I couldn’t help but immediately focus on two things:

    1. The size and relevance of my impact as a leader is directly related to the size and relevance of my courage. While I must always be courageous, it must at the same time be focused.

    2. If I am to successfully lead, I must be aware of what those around me need to follow and whether or not their contribution to progress is enough.

    You continue to inspire,
    Chris

    Reply to this comment
  7. Indira Hau'ofa-Kiaga

    26. Feb, 2014

    Truly a great post Lolly.
    From the tiger, you have drawn key leadership traits that are manifested when one leads from the heart. Leadership that leads from the heart is strong, assertive, authoritative and at the same time tender-hearted and compassionate.
    Thank you for sharing your passion to always Lead from the Heart. I am always thankful and learn so much from your posts.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Dan

    27. Feb, 2014

    Dear Lolly~

    I enjoyed the selection of a fox as the animal in need. The stereotype of the fox is cleverness and deception, but your story is really how the fox, too, can be vulnerable, just like the rest of us.

    All the best
    ~Dan

    Reply to this comment
  9. Craig

    28. Feb, 2014

    I love this post, I will be using it at our Captains Council, After all we are the Tigers of Daniel Hand, Madison, CT. The kids will eat it up, no bud! All the best to you!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Ray Williams

    28. Feb, 2014

    Great post Lolly. We can take responsibility for everything that happens in our lives, or we can choose to be a victim and allow events and others determine not only our future, but our internal state. As a side note, I wonder how long it would be before the tiger saw the fox as a meal.

    My best
    Ray

    Reply to this comment
  11. Dr.V

    01. Mar, 2014

    This analogy was helpful for me because too many times leaders become lax and miss the opportunity to mentor, strengthen ,and lead. The fox had a reason to rely on the tiger’s leftovers however; the man was fully capable of hunting and attaining for himself. The man could have easily become the tiger’s next meal.

    Reply to this comment
  12. agus

    06. Mar, 2014

    In globalization era now, I think independence tend to drift to Interdependence and rest of fear changed to more aware and wiser, then we will save. It just my opinion.

    Thanks to share.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Dawood Chishti

    05. Oct, 2014

    The fox couldn’t make use of even it’s know cleverness when went unfit and the predating tiger was seen courageous as well as generous soul though giving its leftovers. Lolly, it is up to your own perception how you read between the lines.
    But you deserve a big applause for finding a great message out of an odd story.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Michael

    11. Oct, 2014

    Thanks Lolly. That story is really inspiring.

    Reply to this comment
  15. www.monlien.org

    29. Nov, 2014

    Very shortly this web page will be famous amonjg all blog
    visitors, due to it’s good posts

    Reply to this comment
  16. Chanie

    02. Nov, 2017

    I LOVE this post and resonated so much with the analogy you shared.
    Being the tiger is a choice and it’s a hard one – but so much better than watching life by the sidelines.

    Leading from a place of courage is challenging and I find that when I take the steps it’s not that I’m not scared – someone’s I’m terrified but I know that something great is right around the corner.

    “Lead with enthusiasm and you’ll bring the gift of intense creativity” thanks for sharing Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      03. Nov, 2017

      Chanie

      Leadership isn’t easy and it takes great courage, it makes us each stand at the edge of our discomfort zone in order to tap into our greatness.

      Thanks for your insightful comment.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  17. Reddy

    21. Dec, 2017

    Good read and when I’m at a point of my life where I make some courageous decisions, it’s just what I needed.

    Reply to this comment

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