Harvard and Wharton are renowned for their graduate schools of business, their faculty among some of today’s greatest minds on leadership principles. Yet missing from the rolls of educators are the teachings from someone whose path has shown millions clear light on the path to success. Yes…Wile E. Coyote.
I recently uncovered 9 truths that were requirements for each Road Runner cartoon episode, never to be deviated from. Here are four I thought are critical for today’s leaders to ponder.
- The coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
Coyote never stopped pursuing his goal. No matter the setback he continued to look for new processes or inventions that could provide the answer to his quest. He doesn’t let fear of other’s perception (i.e. humiliation) stop him from trying something different. Is there a new path you could try when fear has you frozen in your tracks?
- The coyote could stop at any time, if he were not a fanatic.
While coyote is persistent, his fanaticism blinds his vision. Definition of a fanatic: one who redoubles his effort when he has lost his aim. George Santayna. Determination is required for leaders to chart the path to success as long as it is coupled with clarity to see things as they are, not as you hope them to be.
- No outside force can harm the coyote, only his ineptitude or failure of acme products.
Each day he attempts to capture Road Runner, harm comes to Coyote mainly because of his lack of recognizing where his weakness lies. Where do you need to let others step in, utilizing their talent which may supersede yours? Is it time to put your ego in your pocket?
- Whenever possible make gravity the coyote’s greatest enemy.
The greatest challenge Leaders face is helping their team build momentum. Forces create drag that slows growth, diverts attention and keeps our teams grounded when they are attempting to soar. What steps can you take today to remove an obstacle or roadblock hampering the performance of those who are choosing to follow you?
My mom was wrong. I wasn’t wasting my time watching Saturday morning cartoons. Little did I know that leadership principles were being poured into my head, shaping me into the leader I am today. Wonder what effect Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny had on my psyche? This may offer great insight for my wife…
Read the 3 part blog series on Leadership Style that inspired this article, links below:
- Part 1: “Whats Your Management Style…Gandhi…Hitler…Road Runner?”
- Part 2: “Afraid to Acknowledge?”
- Part 3: “Are You A Road Runner Manager?”