Have you ever seen anyone wrestle a tiger? Wrestling tigers is gnarly work. It doesn’t matter even when the wrestling is playful, the sheer size and strength of a full grown tiger can cause unintentional damage.

Even though they may lull you into a place of cozy comfort and complacency, make no mistake about it, they are apex predators. It’s hardwired into their DNA to hunt you down and kill you.

Dan wrestling a tiger

And you can’t forget for a single moment the power they possess is strong enough to take your arm off at the elbow or claw the skin right off your face.

When you are a disruptor in any industry you are surrounded by predators. Some of these beasts are actually in the ring with you… in your own organization. They may even appear to be your closest friends, business colleagues, allies or even family.

Although the beasts in your circus may initially embrace you and your new ideas as extraordinary and outstanding, there is always a tug toward their definition of normal. In statistical vernacular we would call it ‘regression towards the mean’…and ‘mean’ it can absolutely be.

If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then prepare to be flattered beyond your wildest dreams. Those surrounding you would love to take credit for your ideas and will even implement sprinkles of them into their own operating model. Be flattered!

Picture in your mind’s eye the typical nursing home. Close your eyes and imagine it. See yourself as you walk through the front door. What’s the first thing you notice? Is your nose assaulted by strange and pungent aromas?

What do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear? Do you see happy smiles on the resident’s faces? Are they engaged in conversation, reading a book, playing a board game or watching TV? Or do they just stare blankly into space at nothing you can see and carry on conversation with no one there to respond?

Count the smiles you see on the faces of the staff. How many look genuinely real and how many look like they’re wearing a forced smile for the visitors to see?  …or worse, no smiles at all?

Who wants to move here? We’ll move you in today!

The status quo is hard to break.

Some folks believe they can woo you by building a new building, completing a refurbish or at least by applying a new coat of paint on the walls. But in the end it doesn’t work, because it only changes the exterior appearance and not the internal apparatus.

What’s missing?

Love.

Soul.

Heart.

Culture.

Inspiration.

Motivation.

Interest.

Obsession.

The SPARK of LIFE!

smiling senior ladies sitting at table

When you’re responsible for the leadership of matrix type organizations with complex regulatory and operational issues…

Everything matters.

Every detail matters.

Every encounter matters.

It’s like a tug-of-war of left brain and right brain.  The left is needed for structure but the right is needed to break the organization free of the inflexible past.

It’s quite the tightwire, quite the balancing act to master; and few will be brave enough to take the first steps.