On today’s front page of Inc.com there is an article delving into the “exotic animal” industry that has ballooned into a $15 million empire. According to the article, kinkajous, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and other exotic animals are becoming such household pets that they may overtake the dog as man’s best friend.
So why is everyone letting their dogs out and welcoming exotic pets as their new best friends? As one person who was asked this question stated, “Everyone wants to be different, they want to stand out in the crowd.”
This got me thinking how relevant this statement is to our lives as leaders. In our society today we spend millions of dollars on pets and other material possessions in the hopes of being different and standing out in the crowd. Once the newness of the pet wears off and more of our friends get exotic pets themselves, the more we cease to stand out in the crowd and we recycle our pursuit of being different. It’s a never ending cycle.
Imagine if we used this same cycle to improve ourselves as human beings, improved our attitudes, leadership and management. What happens when the shine wears off our new found attitude, our friends contract the disease of encouragement and our employees duplicate our leadership? Our pursuit of being different and standing out in the crowd will propel us to higher altitude of attitude, stronger leadership and better management. It’s as natural as our heart beat. It’s a never ending cycle that will reproduce never ending positive results.