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How breeding lions helps in the management of people

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Asked to account for his outstanding success in the difficult task of breeding lions, Mr. Flood, the Dublin zoo keeper, replied, “Understanding lions”. When pressed to explain further, he added, “every lion is different”.

Since this story appeared in an academic textbook in 1965, it has often been quoted. For instance, it is referenced by former England cricket captain Mike Brearley in his book on the art of captaincy (1985), a work which continues to be consulted by later England captains (for instance, Mike Atherton, 2002).

The point that all of these writers wish to emphasise is that very often the key to managing people successfully is to recognise their individuality. Not all lions are alike and neither are all people. As a consequence, tailored approaches frequently prove necessary, especially when dealing with your key staff.

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Daily Management Nugget

Research and facts which all managers should know

Today’s Nugget:

How breeding lions helps in the management of people (click above)

Tomorrow’s Nugget:

The contribution of a Scottish louse to 360-degree feedback