Author and financial expert Dave Ramsey talks about having “gazelle intensity” when it comes to getting out of debt. I first heard him talk about this principle in Financial Peace University and recently heard him talk about it when I saw him live. He uses the example of a gazelle outwitting a cheetah. He says,
“Cheetahs run fast, really fast—as in 70 to 75 mph fast at their top speeds. Not only is the cheetah the fastest animal on earth, but it accelerates faster than a sports car. The gazelle doesn’t have a chance, right? Wrong! Gazelles have learned that the cheetah’s speed is limited to straight-line running. So the gazelle bobs and weaves and runs in circles until the cheetah gets tired and gives up.”
This same principle can also be applied to the area of leadership. The word intensity is defined as, “great energy, strength, concentration, etc. as of activity, thought, or feeling.” If you want to be effective and see results it requires “gazelle intensity.” Below are 4 areas that will allow you to lead with gazelle intensity:
1. Strength based- The gazelle would have no chance of escaping if they tried to be strong in the area of speed. The reason they have the potential to escape is because they have a strength that causes them to have an advantage over the cheetah. When a leader finds and focuses on their strengths they have a competitive advantage and produce better results. Become a strength based leader.
2. Perseverance- Perseverance separates those who are successful from those who give up(Click here to Tweet that). The responsibility of leadership can be challenging and demanding. Those who are strong endure through the seasons of leadership. Persevering through will produce the rewards of personal success in your life. When the gazelle is being chased by the cheetah they have to persevere and endure until the cheetah runs out of steam. No matter what season of leadership you are in, keep persevering and enduring!
3. Self-belief- To become a gazelle leader requires self-belief. Achieving success is more about how we see and what we speak to our self than it is an outside factor. Robert Anthony said, “You can have anything you want if you will give up the belief that you can’t have it.” If you want to have and maintain yourself belief I suggest:
- Associating with positive and optimistic people.
- Have a control of your thoughts, make sure you are edifying and building yourself up.
- Regularly refresh and renew your life by nourishing yourself.
4. Strategy- Strategy is needed if you want to accomplish your personal and organizational vision. Just having a vision or dream is not enough. It takes a strategic plan to accomplish it. John Kotter said, “Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change.” Gazelle leaders have a strategic plan for accomplishing their personal and the organizational vision. The gazelle’s vision is to survive another day by strategically bobbing and weaving until the cheetah gets tired. Take time to develop a strategic plan of the future.
Questions: What are some other factors to being a gazelle leader? How do you develop gazelle intensity?