7 Lessons from the Naïve Leader
One day a naïve leader decided to explore the desert. He was smart enough to know he needed water and clothing for protection from the sun. But he didn’t understand all the dangers in the desert.
At the edge of the desert, he was surprised to meet a poisonous snake. But he was excited and didn’t know the snake was deadly.
The snake, with sly reserve, asked, “Where are you going my friend?”
“I’m off to explore the desert,” replied the naïve leader.
“Oh my,” the snake said with mock concern. “Do you know poisonous snakes live in the desert?”
The naïve leader gasped, “I have never seen a poisonous snake. What do they look like?”
The sly snake said, “Look for an animal with four legs, a bushy tail and two black beady eyes. They pretend to be friendly and helpful, but they’re deadly.”
He thanked the sly snake and turned with confidence toward his adventure. But when he turned, the sly snake bit him on his hind end and he died.
7 lessons from the naïve leader who died:
- What you don’t know can bite you in the butt.
- A naïve leader feels excitement when caution is needed.
- Inexperience doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.
- Seek advice from several sources.
- The person who seems to help might be waiting for you to turn your back.
- Passion adds danger to naiveté.
- You are never fully prepared for a journey you haven’t taken before. Life is that journey.
What lessons do you see in the story of?
Still curious: The Naive Leader – What Makes You One and How To Avoid It.
Dan, a very worthwhile read. Thanks Anthony
Thank you, Anthony. I trust you are well.
Know what you know and know what you don’t know.
Seek advice and guidance from you network and other experts to help you gain the knowledge you need.
If you come across a snakes that talks–beware!!
Thanks Paul. Talking snakes are a big warning sign!
Look up the Russian fable about the frog and the scorpion: Be sure you understand the true nature of those around you.
Thanks Jennifer. I did look up the Frog and the Scorpion. Very cool. Little short parables are fun to read and make wonderful points of reflection.
Don’t always go it alone — surround yourself with those who know more than you do, especially about snakes!
Agreed Ann! Often as leaders we are tempted to go it alone, especially those of us that are introverts. It’s who we surround ourselves with that will often make or break us.
Dan, I find this article to be extreme, terribly negative, and somewhat poisonous. (Yes, pun intended.) Nobody is born insightful, clever, or wise, just a few antonyms for “naive.” Acquiring these leadership — and human — qualities and so many others is a process that takes time and encourages us to learn from our mistakes while developing courage and humility. And that’s just for starters. Apart from the one helpful suggestion offered, “Seek advice from several sources,” I find the rest of this article to be seeped in paranoia and fear. Neither of those is helpful for personal — or leadership — growth. We can do and be better than that! After all, there are few, if any, naive missteps that will kill us. Let’s embrace all of who we are and have the potential to become and encourage others to do the same with enthusiasm and joy.