Leadership Lesson From a Death Adder


Our not so friendly Death Adder after being relocated
Our not so friendly Death Adder after being relocated

By Chris Gandy

I read something the other day from Steve Gordon where he was referring to the many successful business people he has met over the years. In Steve’s opinion:

“Here’s what’s true about them all…

  • They are voracious collectors of business ideas and principles.
  • They are fanatical about implementing good ideas fast.

Movement builds momentum…movement attracts clients. Because they can’t do everything, they get outside help to move from idea to done”.

Isn’t this so true for good leadership.

Stagnation, torpidity, sluggishness and dullness are killers for effective leadership. Your not inclined to seek and implement new ideas and any suggestion of self-improvement is an anathema. And your followers eventually follow suit or leave.

Movement, on the other hand, evokes feelings of progress, energy, life, hope and optimism.. To paraphrase Steve,

“For Leaders, movement attracts followers”

While movement attracts attention it still has to be used intelligently as our friends in the animal world have learnt.

To illustrate, had an interesting experience with the attention grabbing qualities of movement recently when gardening. Poking around under a bush I disturbed a Death Adder snake (not too common in these parts thankfully). With Megan’s help we were able to successful catch and re-home it.

The thing about the Death Adder is that it is one of the most deadly snakes in the world and has the longest fangs of any Australian snake. So you would think it would be marauding the bush knocking off prey at will. But it doesn’t. That would be an inefficient use of its energy and time. It is far more strategic than that.

You see the tip of a Death Adder’s tail is a different colour to the rest of it’s body and is used as a lure by wriggling it to attract potential prey. It lies well camouflaged in the leaf litter twitching only the tip of it’s tail, then wham, goodbye frog etc.

Put simply the old Death Adder would wither and die without movement. Don’t let that happen to your leadership and the organisation you run.

Chris is the Principal and Managing Director at Cause & Effective – an organisation focused on successfully guiding not for profit Boards through leadership transitions



About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

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