To communicate our methods and ways of thinking we are often taught to use analogies. Using a “natural jungle” analogy for EnQ helps me to crystallize my thinking and transfers my entrepreneurial knowledge, thinking and methods to others effectively.
In the EnQ jungle version of the natural jungle there are four “species” of entrepreneurs:
1. The Rhino Entrepreneur: The Rhino is commonly just off the starting block in his experience or methods and not very advanced in entrepreneurial skill and progressive thinking styles. He therefore tends to move in familiar circles, which in place of facilitating real progress just grinds him deeper and deeper into the mud.
2. The Fish Eagle Entrepreneur: The Fish Eagle is often advanced academically but not necessarily street smart. They are limited in their results by perfectionism and non-collaborative tendencies as they soar above the “riff raff” in their narrow-minded quest for accuracy and guarantees.
3. The Baboon entrepreneur: The Baboon is very street smart, if not academically advanced, and keen to collaborate with others for maximum personal benefit with a shifting focus and non accountable tendencies. What they might see as “fearless” others might see as “enthusiastic idiocy”. Allegiances shift regularly as current alliances disappoint and more interesting opportunities are chased in the search of easy rewards.
4. The Lion Entrepreneur: The Lion is focused, committed, results based, effective in his methods and time efficient. Lions are successful through combiningwhat they know with how they think, and with their awareness of what actually works in practice.
Moving towards Lion territory is essentially about developing two traits: awareness and accountability. These two abilities determine the outcomes from the decisions we make in growing our businesses. We all have varying levels of natural awareness and accountability, but we need to develop these fully to succeed as entrepreneurs. To learn to “walk the path of the lion”, EnQ tools have been developed to assist business owners through this process.
But not every analogy fits the natural species of the lion. To use a mixed metaphor to illustrate the varying approaches by the different EnQ species, imagine that the Rhino, Baboon, Fish Eagle and Lion are all baking a cake. To the Rhino, the ingredients all look interesting in appearance but no major differences are identified and he might easily miss the baking powder. The Fish Eagle carefully measures each ingredient but misses the baking powder because Mrs. Fish Eagle bought a different brand and he doesn’t recognize or trust it. The Baboon enthusiastically throws in the approximately measured ingredients most readily available (little bit of this, little bit of that) whilst chatting to his friends and colleagues and misses the baking powder all together. The Lion looks for the baking powder first because he knows that although it’s the smallest ingredient it will make the difference between a successful outcome and a big fat flop. He follows a recipe proven to work in the past but also experiments with strategic changes that he believes might enhance his results.
The point of the lion baking a cake analogy is that in the “real” entrepreneurial world most of us have access to the same ingredients. Our success comes down to how we recognize and combine them, and our awareness of how they function.
I would guess that Fish Eagles reading this are thinking “but Lions don’t bake cakes” and will struggle to get past this observation to the real value of the analogy. Rhinos will be unsure of the relevance of baking to their businesses. Baboons will think “awesome, a lion baking a cake! Ha ha ha”…hey, I’m hungry!
Those who want to be in lion territory will be thinking, what is my baking powder? And in that thought lie the two important ingredients, awareness andaccountability.