Taming the Lion

clyde-beatty-lion-tamerLet’s get one thing straight: You can’t “tame” an actual lion. It’s a wild animal with 3-inch claws and a jaw that can crush a bull’s spine. You may think you can domesticate one but ask Roy Horn how that worked out with his tiger.

I’m not talking about actual lions. I’m referring to the metaphorical lions in our daily lives: the alphas, leaders, anyone who calls the shots. This is not about manipulating and deceiving others for the sheer purpose of manipulating and deceiving others. And this is not about mumbling under your breath to get someone to wear a puffy shirt. This is about tactful negotiation.

There will always be people who are stubborn and bullheaded. And no matter how much sense you may be speaking, they just can’t see the big picture. A lion has no reason at all to ever want, or need, to sit on a stool and yet the lion tamer convinces the lion that it must protect that stool, and so it does.

Even a lion tamer knows that he’s not taming the lion. The lion tamer is tricking the lion to think that it’s doing something because it’s the animal’s idea. The same rule applies in humans. If you can’t rationally come to terms with someone, convince them that your idea/goal/agenda is their own and see how quickly they jump up on that stool.


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