Often leaders and bosses are expected to be loud and visible. Loud in their voice, bold in their actions, fierce in their moves. The classical comparison with this animal is not a unknown one. While it is used for ages as symbol for several countries and villages, nowadays it keeps showing-up in logo’s and other branding. We love to express our fierceness with a visiualization of the King of the jungle: the Lion.
When I was asked to choose a animal to introduce myself during a deep-dive with a customer, I didn’t think twice and introduced myself as a lioness. For a lady that seems shy, quiet and calm that might have been a odd choice too everyone else in the boardingroom. I didn’t lose much time at that moment to explain myself.
Around four weeks later I had to give a presentation about the complete process. The same pair of eyes were staring at me in front of a whiteboard in the boardingroom. Meanwhile I became aware of the doubts they might have had about me, I would almost like to call the feeling; underestimated. Nevertheless I started my presentation and finished after one hour with a complete filled structured whiteboard. The staring eyes were now translated in to compliments and “well-done’s”.
I never felt the urge to explain myself. However when I call myself a lioness, it’s not because of the attitude or the loud roar. But rather the calmness of it’s appearance. Sitting most of the time in the shadow, observing and taking notes. A Lion knows that he sits there because it is his area. Whether you are the manager of a departement, the owner of a company, the head of a family or the responsible person for any other job. You need to protect it knowing that it is your territory. This might be in the shadow but don’t forget to go out hunt, show your teeth, use your claws and feed the hungry ones.