Maybe you’ve heard the tales of the infamous honey badger—the world’s most fearless creature—who surfaced on the Internet earlier this year. Its conquests have become so popular that they’ve landed the weasel-looking animal in a commercial for pistachios and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has adopted the nickname “Honey Badger.”
For those unfamiliar with the African creature, it is capable of attacking and eating snakes, fighting jackals, and invading beehives to eat the larvae. To see the honey badger in action, watch the clip below.
The most obvious attribute of the honey badger is it’s fearless approach to life. It’s not scared of anything—not poisonous snakes, not bee stings, not creatures five times its size. It’s truly fearless.
What does this have to do with being a good leader? Well, there are a few lessons that we can take from the honey badger’s ferocious nature.
Oftentimes, people find themselves letting fear dictate their behavior. It could be a small thing like procrastinating on a task for fear of disappointing someone. Or it could be something larger like covering up a mistake for fear of the consequences. In the latter case, the consequences are likely to be less severe if a person faces the music earlier rather than later. Regardless of the situation, fear can cause people to do uncharacteristic, silly, and even stupid things.
Good leaders, the ones that have employees and clients that trust them, act like honey badgers every day without realizing it. Here are some things that don’t scare fearless leaders.
Fearless Leaders and Honey Badgers Don’t Fear…
- Making mistakes
- Admitting wrongs
- Taking full responsibility for their actions
- Doing the right (ethical) thing, even if it’s unpopular
None of these things are new to you, I’m sure. But they are common things that we not only fear but that also cause us to alter our behavior at times. So the next time you’re faced with a tough decision or feel fear creeping in, ask yourself, “What would the honey badger do?”
Photo by Jaganath with permission under CC BY-SA 3.0.
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