I have lived in the southern half of the U.S. my whole life. Squirrels are everywhere! They are annoying to some, funny to others, and cute to even more people. These little rodents can actually teach us a thing or two about our own leadership.

Squirrels are great preppers

If nothing else, a squirrel is a very good planner and prepper. They will often build up multiple stocks of food in different locations in anticipation of raids and other losses. They will also bury nuts in open areas that other animals can see to throw them off from their real cache of food. They have plans and contingency plans just in case. So too, is it good for a leader to be a very good planner and prepper. They don’t let the what ifs fully drive their leadership, but they are aware of potential risks and prepare accordingly for worst-case scenarios and they train their team well to stay nimble so if one plan falls through, then they can still operate and be successful. A great humanly example of this is with financial planners. Any planner that is worth anything will spread out investments so that if something takes a hit, the whole portfolio isn’t destroyed.  Plan and prepare to make it through your personal and professional winters.

Squirrels don’t give up

Type in funny squirrel in a Google video search and you’ll get over 400k hits back of footage from the rodents doing the craziest things to get what they want and need. They simply will not give up! You’ve probably seen in your neighborhood or in videos/pictures the elaborate ways homeowners will go to protect their birdfeeders from squirrels. They see an obstacle and they will just keep going at it no matter what. I think we sometimes give up too early on the ideas and endeavors that we have. We don’t see immediate success and we write it off as a failure. Keep at those challenges. The squirrel never fails in its quest to get in the birdfeeder. It continues to learn and gain experience until it finds the right combination. Never look at a miss as a failure; consider it a part of the journey to success.

Squirrels are very adaptive

When we first moved to our current home, we had many squirrels and chipmunks that would cut through our backyard to get from one place to another. We introduced a small dog into their environment. It didn’t take long for them to adapt and turn our fence line into a squirrel superhighway.   They also gain a significant amount of weight in the winter and as we’ve seen above, learning obstacles and how to outsmart them.  In our world, we’ve seen many businesses and large organizations fail and go out of business because they failed to adapt to a new environment. Don’t fall into that same trap. Remain nimble and continue to push for innovation in yourself and with your team.

Remember the tenacity of the squirrel next time you are future planning or are looking at an obstacle. If the rodent can figure out a way, so can you.

Make a better tomorrow.