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Over the last year I have listened to quite a few “inspirational” speakers, some of whom I have found more helpful than others.

One speaker said that there are two kinds of people in business: lions and hedgehogs!

His point was that when a hedgehog is threatened it rolls up into a ball and waits for the danger to pass. This is like a lot of managers who go on the defensive and resort to well-tried methods of survival.  A lion by contrast takes the risk and goes on the attack.  It was suggested that we all need to be like lions to seize every opportunity and tackle our problems dynamically.

The speaker did not seem to know that lions once roamed wild in this country but became extinct many thousands of years ago, probably due to climate change.  The last big cats to survive here were sabre-tooth tigers, which died out around 7000 BC.  Some threats they obviously failed to deal with.

On the other hand, I saw a hedgehog only last week. It looked quite well.  Yet hedgehogs have lived here long before any other mammals! So they must be doing something right.

Perhaps we need to be prepared to behave like hedgehogs, at least sometimes, whilst recognising that there are some circumstances where the lion’s approach is called for.  I am not saying that it is always wrong.  It is not a good practice to adopt the same tactics for every situation. Perhaps if you find it hard to adapt, especially if you cannot step back from a situation and take an objective view, you might benefit from getting some advice from an independent consultant.