An opportunity presented itself recently to attend a seminar on leadership instincts. It seems that there is a theory that states that all those who are leaders (or hope to be) will generally exhibit the characteristics of a particular wild animal. In this particular case, there are four animal categories to which all people of the earth are assigned in accordance with their demonstrated behavior style. The four categories are tiger, ostrich, fox, and chameleon. There is not the room in this article to delve into each specific category save to say any thinking person can attach typical behaviors to each. Well, I really have an issue with chameleons. The issue I have with the chameleon is largely because that is what their test told me that I am. I take issue along several points;
- I do not have the ability to move my eyes independently of each other nor am I able to see in front of AND behind myself at the same time. That would be pretty handy you know. Imagine how easy it would be to evade, say, a bill collector or an officer of the law?
- I lack the talent of changing my appearance to suit my surroundings so as to be invisible to prey. I do try, mind you, but the salesmen and telemarketers of the world still find me.
- I do not possess a hideously long tongue that can reach out half the length of my 6 foot frame (and, if I did, I guarantee I would not tell anybody).
- I can’t walk on high places without much to hang onto. Chameleons do it slower than anybody on earth. They have what amounts to four hands.
The seminar added none of the aforementioned characteristics as being evident of an individual with the leadership style of a chameleon. Instead, they described this individual as persuasive, intuitive, social, fun, friendly, warm, enthusiastic, and inspiring. How they derived this from a chameleon I’ll never know. Regardless, these were all great traits that I was proud to be connected to. Yup, that’s me, I thought to myself. I AM a chameleon. In a class of twenty or so people, there were two or three chameleons. We were the life of the party. Then they told us….
Chameleons can be talkative, emotional, unreliable, FLAKY, procrastinators, and are easily distracted. Harrumph!! How could they?! I could easily give them a 1,000 word discourse disproving this theory. I’ll do it too! Someday. Just you wait. Soon as I….wait, I was talking about chameleons, wasn’t I?
They ended their seminar telling the few chameleons that are there the following “self-management” slogan, “Life is not just a big party.” Right. My response? “Party on, dude!”