Cheetah – the fastest land animal on the planet clocks speeds of 109 to 120 km/h (68 to 75 mph), covers up to 500 m (1,640 ft) in short bursts, and can accelerate from 0 to 96 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in three seconds. When cheetahs run at full speed, their stride is 6-7 meters (21 feet) and their feet touch the ground only twice during each stride. And, cheetahs are the only members of the big cat family which can turn in mid-air while running.
what most fascinates me about this protected species that lives primarily in Africa are its unique physical characteristics:
¨ Flexible spine;
¨ Oversized liver;
¨ Enlarged heart;
¨ Wide nostrils;
¨ Increased lung capacity;
¨ Black “tear” marks under its eyes.
For just a moment, reflect on these characteristics of the cheetah, and how they relate to humans:
Cheetahs are built for speed,pursuit. Leaders and anyone with a goal for that case, anyone who want to move ahead very fast, and are willing to put in the effort to get the speed, belong to the cheetah mindset team. Such entrepreneurs do not work very well with teams. If the necessity arises, they will do a major chunk of the work on their own. Cheetahs are sprinters, not long distance runners. They run in short bursts of tremendous speed. Leaders like them work feverishly for short spans of time. And after every burst, they need to rest. But, such entrepreneurs are very shy and submissive. It is easy to snatch away their winnings, just the way larger animals take a cheetah’s prey away. They cannot exert authority, and therefore, work best alone.
Smart leaders understand it’s not just enough to pursue, but pursuit must be intentional, focused, consistent, aggressive, and unyielding. You must pursue the right things, for the right reasons, and at the right times. Perhaps most of all, the best forms of pursuit enlist others in the chase. Pursuit in its purest form is highly collaborative, very inclusive and easily transferable. Pursuit operates at greatest strength when it leverages velocity and scale.
A cheetah wakes up everyday and goes on the hunt for that what it sees in it’s mind. The cheetah always has a plan. They have “high value targets” they are going to get in front of its prey. They have an angle they are trying to work. The cheetahs are the persons who create plans in their mind and set goals to meet the targets. They have meetings they are going to, places to be at, and people to meet. They don’t spend or waste their time in low value activities. They work hard to get proximity to key players every single day of the week, they work with others so that they can help with their services and advance together. Cheetahs work a system. Cheetahs expand with and through their associations. Cheetahs have a high bounce back rate and don’t spend much time retreating or contracting.
In African safari, if you ever spot a cheetah you will see that cheetahs typically sit special locations or positions. If you will notice, this location will be a position of perspective which can be a treetop, a mound or hilltop overlooking the watering hole or valley.This may look like laziness, but actually, its far from it. The cheetah is actually very busy mentally. And what it is really doing is analyzing a herd of potential food.It is surveying the territory, so we if you want to advance, to do well you should be looking for emerging patterns, the cheetah is looking for particular movements in the herd.
Competition isn’t the first thing most association leaders think of when they are analyzing strategic threats. Every year, new organizations and services pop up that provide services that can now be offered faster at less cost. This can be discouraging for teams or business that are enjoying status quo. But I think it is an opportunity for any team or business that want to stay ahead to see this as an opportunity of growth.
Walt Disney had a favorite quote: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
It’s great advice for us all. Moving forward and delivering value in new ways will help ensure that members view your association as the best partner to help grow their careers and their businesses. Your team need to stay innovative to beat their competition.
Their light musculoskeletal structure means other predators, such as the hyena, can push cheetahs off the kill and enjoy the feast themselves. Even so, the cheetah will make its kill and eat what it can before the hyenas get there, knowing that it can move on and make another kill.
In business terms, that’s the mindset of a leader — accept that others will come into the market, and you’ve got to move faster than they do. If you want to get a new idea to market quickly, you cannot do it with the cumbersome infrastructure that many large organisations have. Each layer of hierarchical decision-making adds a layer of delay. Just as a cheetah might be happy to make the kill and move on, don’t be afraid to abandon ideas that don’t work.
Those of us who have Cheetah-like inspiration will go for new opportunities, we will not be deterred by frustrations but will walk or run towards our targets. Make a note of any processes that really annoy you, and resolve to do something about them.
What makes cheetahs such remarkable hunters is not their speed, but their ability to slow down quickly. They not only reach 60 miles per hour running down their prey, but they can cut their speed by nine miles per hour in a single stride. This gives them an incredible advantage, enabling them to turn sharply, jump sideways, and change directions in an instant — their skill at leaping sideways, changing directions abruptly and slowing down quickly — that gives those antelope such bad odds. And that is exactly what makes a good leader great—the ability to bob and weave and move towards the target as new information is learned, bending the law of physics in ways that enable one to leap over competitors without slowing down to look back and mourn change.
And with a return to fundamental basics, we might find ourselves, as leaders or even as followers, navigating through our lives differently. If we move like cheetah….but our feet might touch the ground more often but will never lose of our targets.