An Elephant’s Wisdom on Leadership

An elephant drinking, the inspiration for this post.

This picture is a different angle of the largest land mammal on the planet…

I was observing a herd of elephants drinking from a waterhole, it was warm, dry afternoon in South Africa.

And I watched the matriarch of the herd, she led her “people” to the water. It seemed they must have traveled far, and were hot and weary. And they seemed so grateful to finally arrive at the water.

But the matriarch made sure all of the herd was together and drinking, before she herself began to relax and enjoy.

She never stopped making sure all things were in order, and everyone was safe…


Elephants have a matriarchal system.
They follow the wisest female.
And she passes on her wisdom and knowledge to the younger generation.
Yet why do elephants follow her?

Leadership is so important. And here is something the elephants show us regarding that:


Look at people’s ACTIONS.
Elephants learn from their actions. They make mistakes, they get through hardships together, and then they pass down the knowledge gained from their history from generation to generation.


An elephant matriarch does not lead by simply being the loudest.
She leads by the knowledge and wisdom that came from her experience. And what’s been passed down to her.

An elephant herd drinking after a long journey in South Africa.


An elephant matriarch is not a leader because she gains glory and praise, nor does she withhold her wisdom from others, she’s not worried about someone else getting credit.
In fact, an elephant matriarch actually often suffers, she must put herself in the face of danger, take action and make often very tough decisions, and sometimes those decisions do not work out, but they are not made for herself, she does it for the good of her family. Her people.
She wants success to be for everyone. Not just herself.

And whatever may happen to the herd, they always get it through it together.


An elephant matriarch also does not judge. She is not condemning the mistakes made by her people, who has time for that? With elephants, when a mistake is made, they come together to solve it. They get through it. And think nothing more of it, only learn from it.


Elephants support each other. They work together.


And isn’t it amazing that this animal walks our beautiful earth? That such an impressive creature can teach us so much in how we treat one another?
In what it means to be a leader.

What it means to be a team.


It is a great blessing to share the earth with such inspiring creatures. To be able to watch and observe the life around us, and better ourselves by learning from it.

An elephant herd at a river in South Africa.

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