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No Use Lion About It

Optimize Blog - August 15, 2013 - 0 comments

An animal described as an African lion at a Chinese zoo was exposed as a fraud – when the creature started barking in front of visitors. Chinese media reports said the zoo had replaced its genuine lion with a Tibetan Mastiff dog.
A zoo official in Henan province said the dog was put in the cage when the real lion was sent away to a breeding centre. Understandably perhaps, outraged visitors to the zoo in Louhe said they had been cheated.
According to a report in the Beijing Youth Daily, the fraud came to light when a mother visited the zoo, to show her son the sounds different animals made. But when they got to the cage marked “African lion” – which had a sign describing the range and characteristics of the animal – they were shocked to hear the creature bark.
It was then that zoo keepers revealed the so-called lion was actually a Tibetan Mastiff, an animal that can have a furry brown coat, making it look a little like a lion – actually it is a bit of a stretch. Other species were also apparently mislabelled; there was a white fox in a leopard’s den and another dog being passed off as a wolf.
Here at Zeitgeist we got thinking about the old saying that you can fool some people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all of the time and so it is with leadership. Too many frauds at the management level exist, passing themselves off as leaders while not able to deliver the values, behaviours and characteristics of a leader – very much like our Chinese dog here pretending to be a lion.
Just because the dog looked a bit like a lion the zoo owners thought that it was good enough. Similarly some organizations think that their leadership members look a bit like leaders and so that is good enough. But it isn’t and just like the people at the zoo who felt cheated, employees, shareholders and customers will feel cheated too.
There is no place for imitations at the leadership level. Authentic leadership is what is required not some facsimile of the real thing.
Next time you expect a roar and get a bark, you’ll know that you’re dealing with a fake……

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