#43: Don’t play games with crocodiles

Crocodiles have small ears, a big mouth, sharp teeth, a huge head and a quite small brain compared to its size. And they haven’t developed themselves that much during millions of years with evolution. Crocodiles are hardly to tame. They can maybe be trained – a little bit. But hardly tamed. Even if crocodiles are kept fed well, they will bite and snap nevertheless. Playing games with crocodiles is apparently not the best idea.

Many managers and executives seem to have chosen crocodiles as their idol, ideal or role model.

  • Small ears: They don’t like listening. At least not to other people.
  • Big mouth: They prefer to talk themselves. Much. Loud. Bigmouthed.
  • Sharp teeth: They attack, snap or bite whenever they can.
  • Big head: They have a quite impressive VP, SVP, ESVP or CxO title. A huge office. Nice view. Perhaps a beautiful personal assistant.
  • Small brain: They often know precious little about business, products, solutions, customer needs or what’s going on.
  • Stagnant evolution: They consequently stick to the past and refuse to accept or adopt new things.

Playing games with this species of managers is neither the best idea. Every consultant should therefore – at least once – see the movie Crocodile Dundee. And learn some important lessons from Mick Dundee. Such as rule #43: Don’t play games with crocodiles.

Being confronted with a crocodile, you have 3 options:

(A) Shoot it and make a nice belt, bag or some shoes out of it. But it might not be the best option for business.

(B) Run away fast. This alternative might be difficult in business and doesn’t help to climb the social ladder.

(C) Calm it down. Put something on their eyes. This alternative seems to be the only real one for business.

Let them speak. Don’t interrupt them. Listen and watch carefully to their behavior. Prevent that they notice you as “food”. Give them something they can bite, snap or snatch to. Put some nice PowerPoint presentations or reports on their eyes.

But never ever play games with crocodiles.

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