In the sea, the shark has a strong character. Just as the eagle and the lion command the air and the animal kingdom, the shark is a general in the sea. A Leader must be responsive. The Shark has it. The Shark’s approach to life and how it relates to us and the workplace in general and leadership in particular is crucial to leadership development. I was very excited when I gained insight into the Shark’s approach to life and leadership development. In Swahili they call it ‘Papa’. He is the head, very responsible and incredibly responsive to situations. Its listening skill is incomparable.
“Your vision shouldn’t blur even in tears.”
Some of us don’t listen well so we don’t give very good answers to questions. It is important to upgrade our listening skills because it is one of the main things to take us there, in Leadership development. Listening well and communicating well are crucial to our development in every encounter. The shark believes that its very existence is totally linked to its ecosystem. As a leader, it is very important to be enthused in getting hold of the five systems: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and the chronosystem. It is always essential to note that internal customer orientation is key to the sustainability of each employee’s corporate experience and career growth. This piece cannot sound it better and the shark knows this. The shark always wants to know who is controlling competition around its very existence and progression.
I must sound it clearly and well that I am always happy watching and listening to Managers sharing strategies and drawing budgets in most cases for ensuing years etc. I am happy not because I only meet sharks, but because institutions would be implementing the leading characters of sharks. The shark is territorial. It defines its borders and dominates without any apology to anybody. Sharks do not talk and talk. Sharks walk the talk. They move it. Sharks are sharp and very intelligent. Let me draw you into the extension of man and you’ll appreciate the shark better. It develops self every day. It learns every day and its senses are sharp to detect risk and hence what the returns may be. The risk antenna of the shark is always high and on alert.
The shark feels heavy at the back and therefore cannot feel anybody after its life. It could also be a demerit. Nonetheless, it is fearless and also believes no one can do it in. It is very unwavering and because of that, nobody wins over the shark in its territory. It captures and goes after its preys and subsequently takes dominion. We can only mobilize our teams and go out there to sell, sell and sell before we can dominate. The shark will always go forward because it always wants to gain dominion to lead under the water. To be a shark, be prepared of badmouthing, bickering, cynicisms and pessimistic views from all quarters. Simply put, the shark is not myopic. Yes. It likes targets. It sees targets. It sets targets and also believes that life is boring without targets. It needs to go after preys to survive and subsequently progress. This is one of the basic approaches exhibited by the world’s top sales and marketing executives. They move the cards and they call the shots. They know nothing like fear. So they encourage their souls to be courageous and they win from within. Their vision never blurs even in tears. This is a key characteristic of the shark.
They see under waters. They see farther, clearer and they gather courage mile after mile and run through tough times, even in storms and torrents. Organizations that seek to adapt the shark’s approach to leadership development must seek to strategize and re-strategize to check their pace at every stage in their surge to meeting and exceeding targets. There are several types of sharks: the gummy, tiger, bull, angel, dogfish etc. In the midst of the many, this piece will lean towards the great white shark. Average sharks mature in fifteen years with a life span of thirty years, whereas the great white shark has an average life span of at least seventy years. Sharks develop their skills over a long period of time and when they achieve this, they remain relevant sustainably. Some have these qualities of the shark at the workplace.
They develop over a long period and remain extremely relevant at the workplace. Learn on the job and acquire that experience that would make you employable for a long period of time. You have to map up your own career curve against your current performance. Even though sharks are seen as mentors, big sharks don’t take care of baby sharks. During viviparity, they abandon the young ones often called pups. But the wonderful revelation is that the young ones survive immediately. The word is immediately. Learn to mature quickly at the workplace. How many sales and marketing calls have you made with your Line Managers? How many committee meetings have you attended? And how many monthly performance review sessions have you been part of since you joined your company? Link this to the revelation above. The young ones survive immediately. The buzzword is immediately. Every platform is a learning curve as a shark. You must learn by day.
To be a leader you don’t have to be happy being spoon-fed. Don’t even wade in honeymooning. Unlike the lion and the eagle who will go all out to protect the young ones and also groom by micro managing the cub and the eaglet to be Kings, the shark would challenge its young ones. Tough. Isn’t it? To achieve your targets you should not be asked if not told. It should be an inner challenge and motivation to start achieving. Self-motivation is a tool for survival at the workplace. Get to know the stages in every corporate life cycle and you would rather work harder to support that stage than to whine. The ovoviviparity, oviparity and the viviparity are interesting stages in the shark’s developmental process.
Sharks keep their eggs in hidden areas and so even when the young ones come out, they are protected. Sharks are smart. The shark is never worried under situations. After all, you cannot see it sweat because it lives in the waters. Call the shark a marine mammal. Brand him insensitive, not caring and emotionless to situations. Say they don’t have bones but skeleton because they are cartilaginous fishes. They will still remain smooth, remain intricate hunters with their great sense of hearing and ultimate approach in chasing after their targets. Even in blurry situations the shark will come out as an achiever. Apart from the fact that they like to win, they also know when and how to get their targets. The shark is motivated by what it acquires, sees, achieves and where it believes its capacity may take it. We are all sharks in this context. Go out there, be territorial, be fearless, be responsive, know your strength, develop your strength, know what you have, be a mentor and transfer knowledge. Go ahead and be a winner. Be a shark.
For this is Leadership!
Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah
Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top