16.10.20

The ‘Plight of the Wildebeest’

(Aka the toughest leadership lesson I ever learnt)

One of the reasons that I now do leadership work is that I experienced crap leaders in the workforce. I felt that I could make just that little difference out there in the world, by helping leaders be better with people and build higher performing teams. 💯

💥 The tipping point was one GM that I worked for. My role was as Superintendent. My Manager pulled me aside one day, and gave me some advice (in case I ever had to attend the daily management team meeting):

“Led by the GM, our leadership team are crap – they will scream and shout at you if you look weak (and they did). Just don’t say anything (and I did). If you don’t sound confident (and I didn’t), you will appear to be like a weak wildebeest, and you will be out on your own, and all of the lions come in for the kill (and they did).”

It was the single most crappiest experience of my working life – it was a personal attack, insulting and just so wrong on so many levels. 🤷‍♂️

So, I will never forget the plight of the wildebeest. 🐃

The saddest part of this story was that it did not just happen once, or at manager’s meetings. This was a regular thing. I certainly didn’t have the monopoly on the abuse of staff. It was something that was quite common, it became normalised.


What I really took away from that workplace was:

1. It is not ok to abuse people at work

2. If the GM does something, that seems to become OK to do in the business (if you are the CEO or GM this is an important message)

3. Just take a caring approach, people respect this a lot more than the screaming and shouting – seriously …


So, I will never forget the plight of the wildebeest. 🐃

And, I will never use this in my leadership coaching.

Just be a good leader, and care about people!!! Please don’t scream and shout. It hurts people … for a long time!

#carefactorleadership  💚 


Anton Guinea is the safety leadership expert. His journey is unique, having survived a workplace incident which he transformed from a cautionary story into powerful, psychology-based safety programs that has moved the hearts and minds of organisations globally. 
For 15 years, Anton has worked with over 150+ businesses and their leaders, to help make safety safe; safe to talk about, to engage in, and to report about. Working in the space of where Safety meets Leadership, Anton founded The Guinea Group as the safety support network to help businesses to LEADsafe365.
Get in touch with Anton today.

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