The Crocodile Connect

If we were able to learn a few but really interesting quali­ties from the octopus. I can as­sure you that there are yet more intriguing lessons and aspects on leadership
09 Sep 2017 11:01
The Crocodile Connect
Mayur Kalbag

If we were able to learn a few but really interesting quali­ties from the octopus. I can as­sure you that there are yet more intriguing lessons and aspects on leadership skills that we can ex­tract from a crocodile.

This is a creature that withstood and endured the test of time.

Though they generate tremen­dous fear and anxiety in the other creatures around it, I still believe that there are certain qualities in it which, if observed and practiced can help us become better manag­ers and leaders in our professional as well as our personal life.

Let us try and explore a some ex­tremely positive and amazing qual­ities of the crocodile!

The Grip

It has been found that the croco­dile’s grip is one of the strongest among all the different creatures in the animal kingdom.

The crocodile never lets go of the opportunity and grips its prey in its jaws extremely hard.

I have seen a situation where even a fully grown antelope has been un­able to release its leg from the croc­odile’s jaw despite trying its best.

The grip is so strong that most of the creatures once caught in its jaws find it almost impossible to get out of it.

What is that we can learn from this feature of the crocodile? Well! It is the GRIP! Yes…For us, as as­piring leaders and managers in the professional world what we need to learn is that when an opportunity arises for us in the form of learn­ing opportunity, a ‘presentation’ op­portunity.

A new ‘challenge’, a tough situa­tion at work, an unexpected devel­opment or even a change in your ‘work profile or change in depart­ment’; it is important that you catch or garb hold of if or may I say, Grip it extremely hard. Let me ex­plain this with an example.

John was a very ambitious young graduate. He was aspiring to get a job in a very big and reputed bank and hence when the opportunity arose for an officer’s position in that bank he immediately applied for it. Well! He not just applied for the position but also simultane­ously began preparing for the in­terview.

He started reading more about financial accounting and banking loan financing. He knew that this was an opportunity that he did not want to let go off.

He basically had gripped it hard and was willing to put in all his time and efforts at doing the best in the interview.

Hence, it was not at all surprising that he was able to confidently ap­pear in front of a panel of five In­terviewers and answer almost all of their questions accurately.

To me this was what I call ‘Grip­ping the Opportunity’. Today John is holding a senior management po­sition in the same bank.

All he did was make the most of the opportunity that he got. I am sure that when you come across an opportunity and a golden one at that, you will not look at it but grip at it hard till the opportunity turns into eventual success.


(Willingness to wait for the right Opportunity)

One of the most interesting quali­ties of the crocodile is its ability to wait and that too for hours and on.

I have seen this in reality where the crocodile has been near the river bank and almost submerged under the river water with only its snout popping out.

While in this position a baby an­telope comes extremely close to its mouth. Even when the baby an­telope is just a foot away from the crocodile’s mouth, the crocodile still remains calm and patient.

Realising that there is no danger there, the baby antelope acquires more courage and gets more deeper into the water and in the process gets just a few inches away from the crocodile’s mouth.

That is when the crocodile makes its swift attack and grabs the baby antelope with no chance of its es­cape.

Remember difference between the time the baby antelope came towards the crocodile the first time and the second or final time was three hours.

Yes! three hours. The crocodile wanted to be sure of attacking its prey at the right time and not fail in its attempt.

I guess, there is something for us to learn from this too.

As they say, ‘Haste makes Waste and Hurry creates Worry’. We too need to be patient and calm and not make decisions in a hurry or in an impulsive manner.

At times I have seen an organisa­tion making decisions in haste and repenting about it later. I am sure we can learn as well as apply this quality of sensible patience from the crocodile.

Protective and caring

Oh Yes! However ferocious and feisty the crocodile may be, it has another side to it.

You will be pleasurably surprised to know that the aggressive (some­times assertive) crocodile is very calm and cautious when it carries its young ones quite literally in its mouth.

The same jaws that could eas­ily crush the bones of a large deer, can carry its babies with extreme gentleness and care. Is there some­thing to learn from this quality of the crocodile? Well! for sure there is something we can learn.

As leaders and passionate manag­ers, I believe the crocodile teaches the sensibility of being aggressive (Assertive would be a more appro­priate word for leaders and manag­ers ) and then to be calm or caring or positively passive depending upon situations and circumstanc­es. At times a manager has been known to tell off his juniors or col­leagues in situations where there was need to.

And at times when it was required for the manager to be aggressive or assertive he remains calm and pas­sive.

What the crocodile teaches us is the maturity to understand a situa­tion and accordingly behave in the respective manner!

The way we treat the newly joined employees must be with care and concern and with a sensible touch of assertiveness.

There would and could be more useful and inspiring qualities that we could enjoyably extract from the crocodile, but then, I leave that to your imagination and effort.

The next column will be some­thing more adventurous and I say this because we will be riding along with the wild dogs and learning from them something more about team building and leadership!!!


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