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Who's Who in the Zoo?

Feb 12, 2021

Lions and tigers and bears, but why?

The San Diego Zoo exhibits these and hundreds of other spectacular animal species.

When my family and I visited the largest zoo in the United States, I was fascinated by the variety and signature characteristics of its residents.

I marveled at the massive Afrixcan elephants, the keenly intelligent bonobos, and the sleek cheetahs.

It was a great opportunity to observe and appreciate my favorite aspects of the planet’s diverse inhabitants.

I like to do something similar with leaders in the wild.

Becoming an authentic people leader requires recognizing, appreciating, and emulating these qualities in others.


1. Grab a slip of paper and pencil.
2. Draw a large tic-tac-toe board in the center
3. In the first column, write the words ORG, LIFE, HISTORY—these correspond to exemplary leaders from your organization, your personal life, and world history.
4. In each row, write the name of a leader in the middle column and a prized quality they exhibit in the far right column.

If we each take 5 minutes to complete this exercise, we’ll be more likely to emulate these leadership qualities as we inspire others and deliver results.