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“The Ant and the Elephant”: Navigating Successful Leadership

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Discrepancies between intentions and actions are more common than one might think.

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Now, what do we do?”. This often signals a focus on resolving an immediate issue without considering the broader context and the company’s objectives. It’s essential never to lose sight of the primary goals. The key question then becomes, “Where are we right now, and how do we align with our objectives?“.

In an uncertain environment, agility and openness to change are paramount. However, achieving harmony between what we consciently know and what we do not represents a challenge. Visualize the first as an ant and the latter as an elephant. The struggle lies in guiding the elephant as an ant.

The mismatch between attention and action is critical in decision-making and navigating situations while keeping your organization’s objectives in mind. It involves guiding rather than controlling, emphasizing teamwork, mutual respect, and a collective commitment to moving forward.

It’s safe to say that alignment is a key factor in steering successful leadership.

Source: Emily Douglas, 2023 “The ant and the elephant: How to lead with momentum – not control”,, November, 6th 2023.