image by wolfsavard, flickr artist

elephants are extremely interesting creatures. they can grow up to weigh 15,000 lbs, but still be afraid of a mouse. they’re massive creatures, and anything that large — you’d imagine — can have quite a bit of influence. they’ll shape their surroundings and modify their environment to suit them. if the fruit is too high, they’ll knock over the tree. if the water’s gone, they’ll dig a hole to find some more.

circuses are interesting in their own right. a collection of sights, sounds, and smells that you can’t find any place else. and with so many different performance acts, everything has to be perfectlychoreographed — and the ringmaster is in charge of it all.

so what happens when the ringmaster comes in contact with the elephants? certainly one person isn’t going to be able to move a whole troop of 8,000 lb creatures without a couple of peanuts.

leadership is all about getting the elephants to play along. so whether it’s your own team members or if you’re trying to win over clients, every ringmaster should know that you’re going to have to pack a lot of peanuts. give your employees a reason to do exceptional work… give them dozens of reasons, actually. let your clients see and feel the benefits as quickly as you can. sell them a clear vision, and guide them along the way. make it easy for people to follow your direction.

it doesn’t matter how strong-willed the ringmaster may be, or even how great a performance is in store for the audience. one simple fact remains true: if you don’t motivate the elephants, your circus isn’t going anywhere.