I heard a funny story this week – a lion is roaming the jungle to make sure everyone knows he’s the king.
He comes across several animals and asks them who’s the king of the jungle and they all respond – well you are your majesty. He then comes across a large elephant, asks him the same question and the elephant wraps his trunk around the lion, lifts him high in the air and throws him several feet. The lion is lying there hurt, looks up and says to the elephant – ‘you don’t have to be so angry just because you don’t know the answer!’
This made me laugh but it was told in the context of how some people really do believe everything is about them. It’s often subtle but in leadership teams there is an underlying anxiety to be heard and to assert your perceived influence and authority. It’s also a paradox because those that focus on the work and prioritizing the most valuable things are often the ones that get noticed and promoted, while those that spend time reminded others of their role, status and expectations often get overlooked.
We’re all the lion in the story at times in our own way and thankfully, we all run into elephants to remind us that titles and status just don’t cut it.