Oddly enough, you can learn a lot about leadership and teamwork if you study wolves.
In this article, I will outline the key lessons you as a business owner and entrepreneur should learn from these majestic beasts and how you can apply them.
Let’s get started.
Wolves are Expert Communicators
Wolves, as leaders, are expert communicators.
In hunts, wolves are almost silent. But if they’re silent, how can they communicate?
They rarely howl or bark, instead the pack looks to the alpha for cues. The alpha communicates often during the hunt with his body language and the others have to be very aware of this.
But it’s a two-way street. Not only do they have to look to the alpha for cues, but the alpha also has to be aware of the condition of the others and base his decisions on that.
The best leaders communicate often and openly, just as wolves do. They do it frequently and efficiently.
Strive to mirror that. Take the time to listen and always be available and open. Communication goes both ways, so you should also listen to the inputs of your employees and associates.
Share the Load
The hunt is a project that demonstrates unification for a common goal – a large body working together to achieve a mission.
The leader has his own role, but isn’t supposed to take over every aspect of the hunt. He emopwers the pack to carry out their jobs without using unnecessary force.
In an attack, each wolf has its own job and each wolf carries out their roles perfectly. They collaborate as a team and act in concert in a hunt.
Don’t do everything by yourself. You can’t. And if you think you can, then you’re lying to yourself. Maybe you can for a short time, but in the long haul it’s unrealistic.
No man (or woman) is an island. Don’t try to do the work of a whole team alone. Build a group of individuals around you and lead them.
Remember that success relies on teamwork. And teamwork relies on employees working together and being proud of their work. They want their work to have meaning and purpose, and being micromanaged destroys that.
Learn to trust your employees and share the load of your work. Things will run smoother and cleaner.
Prepare and Plan
Wolves spend days stalking, tracking, and observing large herds of animals looking for a weak member of the group.
Then they attack, after waiting for favorable conditions like weather or terrain.
This is very important. You can’t go head first into a project with no idea of how you’re going to get it done.
Plan out your steps. Set milestones and checkpoints so you can measure your progress. This will streamline any project you have and should minimize friction.
Work Hard But Also Play Hard
Hard work is great – fantastic even – but did you know too much hard work can lead to burnout?
Burnout is what happens when you put too much energy into something for too long. It’s not specific to work – it can be seen in relationships, sports, even school – and it causes stress, anxiety, and a sharp decrease in productivity.
That’s never a good thing.
Wolves can travel up to 30 miles a day and spend countless hours every week searching for their next meal, but they also love to play. In fact, it’s one of the main pillars in their social structure.
Try taking a break every once in a while. No, not like procrastinating, I’m not telling you to do that.
But as you start to lose focus on a big project or you’ve been going at it for 4 or 5 hours non-stop, just pause.
Maybe all you need is 5 minutes to get up and walk around. Or a quick 15 minute workout session to reset your brain to get refocused. These breaks actually encourage greater productivity because it gives your brain a chance to rest.
Playing is good, but not too much that you purposefully neglect work. And work is good, but not too much that it consumes every hour of your day.
Find the right balance. For me, it’s 5 minutes every hour to walk around my kitchen or do some pushups. It might be different for you, but try not to take your phone out …
Don’t distract your brain, just give it a rest.
Perseverance is one of the most noticeable traits of a wolf pack …
Hunts are rarely successful, with most packs bringing home a kill 3-14% of the time. But they power through it and keep moving forward. They learn lessons to bring into the next hunt and try again. They persevere.
The same can be applied to you. You will face failure, you can bet on that.
But the thing that can be the difference between moving forward and staying down is perseverance.
It won’t be easy, but don’t quit. Be the next success story, not a what if.
Leaders aren’t always the strongest in the pack. That seems to be a very common misconception among people.
But leaders somehow manage to inspire others and lead without being overly dominating. That’s the difference: they inspire and lead by example.
Mirror that in your business. Be the leader you’d want to work for.
Hope you enjoyed reading this and learning from wolves.
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