A herd or a crash?

When you go on an African safari you cross your fingers and hope to see ‘The Big Five’: buffalo, leopard, elephant, lion and rhino.

These days you’d be very lucky to spot a rhino as they’re increasingly rare. However, that is not the case at Ivy House, where all our Alumni consider themselves rhinos. So, what do we mean by this?

Believe me – when we call someone a rhino it is definitely a compliment! The Ownership Ladder demonstrates why:

The cows at the bottom of this ladder follow the herd and stand around waiting to be milked, chewing the cud together, blaming others and making excuses for how life has turned out. Cows think that life happens to them.

The rhinos at the top acknowledge reality, own the situation, find solutions and make things happen. They believe that life happens because of them.

There are three traits of the Ivy House rhino to look out for:

1. 100% ownership

Ivy House rhinos take complete responsibility for their life and how it turns out – ownership for their vision, ownership for their plan, ownership for their behaviour. They know they have choices about how they respond to every event and that those choices create the quality of their life.

As all rhinos know, event + behaviour = result.

2. Courageous learner

Ivy House rhinos are courageous learners. This means they fail forward and fail fast, quickly applying what they learn to the next situation. They have the courage to look at the raw facts, seeking out external feedback and acting on it to improve. Their inner voice is set to self-coach mode, not self-judge and they know one of the most courageous things anyone can do is be vulnerable.    

3. Making things happen

Ivy House rhinos don’t wait for things happen; they make things happen. They develop the skills they need to pitch themselves and seek out opportunities, be that a mentor, an internship, a secondment, a trial, a chance. They charge after their goals.

Who would you prefer in your organisation? A herd of cows or a crash of rhinos? (and yes, I did have to google the collective noun!)

If you’re interested to learn more about Rhinos v. Cows check out this book – Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

By Clare Mitchell, Ivy House
12th February 2020


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