Models of Leadership
Did you know if an ostrich encounters or detects fire it will cover itself with water and shake drops all over its nest to protect the eggs? Did you know a mouse will always take the same route as it runs to and from its home? It will try to do this even if an obstacle is put in its way. The Zulu people of South Africa use their knowledge of animal behavior to help train people for leadership positions.
How can animals help people become better leaders? Think about the little mouse that always takes the same route. Would he be a good leadership model?
Imagine you are in charge of a group of people who are sewing uniforms. You look at the money your group is earning. You find the buttons on the uniforms cost a lot of money compared to the rest of the sewing supplies. Do you keep buying the same buttons? This is what the little mouse would do. It keeps doing the same thing over and over. Is this what a good leader would do?
Zulu trainers ask future community leaders to think about traits of animals that would make them good leaders. They also list traits that would not be good leadership traits. You can do this, too - you can learn from animals! Choose five animals. Complete the chart by filling in traits to describe these animals. Then explain what you can learn from one of these animals.