In the Business Wilds: How to Improvise and Adapt Your Behavior

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

 

Be less like a cougar, and more like a cheetah!

Making change requires quick thinking and a keen intuition.

When it comes to staying on top of your career and ahead of the pack, it’s a jungle out there! There are people with connections, who have more years’ experience than you do or that have been at the company longer. So how on earth do you stand out among the crowd? The answer is simple: use your intuition. We’re hard wired to do what’s best for us in most situations; all you need to do is learn to follow your gut. Animals do it day in and day out and it works fairly well for them. They do what comes naturally and typically they do more than stay alive; they thrive!

 

What can we learn from members of the animal kingdom to hone our “killer instincts?”

 

Cheetah: In the corporate world, you’ve got to be fast! One minute an opportunity is there, the next, it’s gone. Take a lesson from the cheetah handbook and don’t hesitate to hit the ground running at full speed in order to get the promotion you want. Trust your gut when it tells you to strike.

 

Elephant: The saying goes, “An elephant never forgets” and neither should you. Your memory can be the key to success along with your intuition. If we attempt to remember the lessons we learn along our career path, we likely won’t make the same mistakes again, simply because our instincts remind us what happened last time.

 

Salmon: In order to spawn, the salmon face an arduous trek upstream, against currents, waterfalls and all odds in order to meet their goal of breeding. Obviously, your goals are probably different than a salmon’s at this point, but you need that sort of tenacity in order succeed in business. Don’t take no for an answer and just keep pushing against the current until you’ve made progress.

 

Hummingbird: These little birds keep busy and flit from flower to flower looking for the sweetest nectar. You should always be able to flit from office to office and get along with your superiors as well as your colleagues. Keeping yourself busy on many projects will help you to stand out from the rest of the herd.

 

Brown Bear: Boy, it sure sounds like hard work being a part of the concrete jungle, doesn’t it? That’s why you need to take a cue from the brown bear, and take some time to relax and “hibernate” from the hustle and bustle of the business world. Now, I don’t recommend an entire winter, but try to take weekends off and find small moments for yourself to regroup and relax.

 

What about you? How do you adapt your behavior?

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