Baby Giraffes and Management Lesson


Courtesy : Chaitanya, my classmate from IIM-B

BABY giraffes never go to a business school. But they learn a very important management lesson much early in life.

A lesson that all of us would do well to remember.

The birth of a baby giraffe is quite an earth-shaking event. The baby falls from its mother’s womb, some eight feet above the ground. It shrivels up and lies still, too weak to move.

The mother giraffe lovingly lowers her neck to kiss the baby giraffe. And then something incredible happens. She lifts her long leg and kicks the baby giraffe, sending it flying up in the air and tumbling down on the ground.

As the baby lies curled up, the mother kicks the baby again and again Until the baby giraffe, still trembling and tired, pushes its limbs and for the first time learns to stand on its feet. Happy to see the baby standing on its own feet, the mother giraffe comes over and gives it yet another kick. The baby giraffe falls one more time, but now quickly recovers and stands up.

Mama Giraffe is delighted. She knows that her baby has learnt an important lesson:

Never mind how hard you fall, always remember to pick yourself up and get back on your feet.

Why does the mother giraffe do this? She knows that lions and leopards love giraffe meat. So unless the baby giraffe quickly learns to stand and run with the pack – it will have no chance of survival.

Most of us though are not quite as lucky as baby giraffes. No one teaches us to stand up every time we fall. When we fail, when we are down, we just give up. No one kicks us out of our comfort zone to remind us that to survive and succeed, we need to learn to get back on our feet.

If you study the lives of successful people though, you will see a recurring pattern. Were they always successful in all they did? No.

Did success come to them quick and easy? No, You will find that the common streak running through their lives is their ability to stand up every time they fall. The ability of the baby giraffe!

The road to success is never an easy one. There are several obstacles, and you are bound to fall sooner or later. You will hit a road block, you will taste failure. But success lies in being able to get up every time you fall. That is a critical life skill. And it is the habit of all successful people.

Courtesy : Chaitanya, my classmate from IIM-B

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
15th May 2011
Mumbai

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