Follow us for updates

Business Blog

Read me like a book by starting at the beginning

Be A Fox Not A Hedgehog

Date - 15 September 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

One of the most important things in business is to understand the viewpoint of others.

In a recent book I was reading, I learnt about how actually you can classify people into just two groups; hedgehogs and foxes.

At this point you’re going to think that I’ve gone crazy but I haven’t, it really does make sense when you follow it through.

Imagine for a moment that you’re a hedgehog. You’re walking through a field and you see a big red fox. Now no matter what you do from this point forward you’re going to think about and let your decisions be influenced by the fact there is a fox in plain sight.

When it comes to work then, there are lots of hedgehogs that see foxes, in fact as people become more knowledgeable about their chosen field they see more and more foxes everywhere.

Take for example a banker. He knows that there is an element of risk in his line of work, and for him (the hedgehog) a credit crisis is one almighty fox.

So imagine one day that he thinks he can predict a credit crisis. That’s a pretty big fox, and despite being right or wrong, the fact that he’s predicted it means from here on in everything he does will be affected by the crisis he thinks he will see.

If he’s reading an article he’ll look for evidence to back up the fact he’s just seen his fox, or if someone asks him for an opinion even on the most mundane of future events, it will all somehow be affected by the crisis.

The trick for you when dealing with this person, whether selling to them or taking advice is to spot the fox that skewing everything they are saying even if it’s not done consciously.

On the other hand though there are people out there who are foxes. That might sound bad at first but it’s really not. You want to be a fox.

Foxes see lots of hedgehogs scurrying all over the place, and they pick the right one to go after.

In our world then the hedgehogs are avenues or possible outcomes. A fox sees them all and whittles them down to the one they want to go after.

If you’re a fox it means you are measured in everything you do because you consider all the options, where as a hedgehog is more affected by one big event that sticks in their mind.

The problem is that foxes don’t make for good reading. People often think that foxes are slow to come to decisions or seem unemotional in some way when the truth is different, they are making reasoned judgement.

The people you see on TV that rant and rave about something are often hedgehogs that have seen a big fox. We’re taught that this is normal behaviour and yet it’s not the behaviour we should be cultivating.

If you want to be successful in business, stop worrying about telling everyone about the big fox you’ve just seen and concentrate on being the fox. Look for every outcome and choose the right one for you based on your collected wisdom to date.

Because everyone else is busy being a hedgehog you can’t expect them to agree with your decision, but you’re a fox so you don’t need their support.

Chapter Summary:

• Be the person that sees all the angles
• Remember that even experts points of view are skewed by the big obstacles they see

Read our next blog post “Enjoy the quiet life”

Tags :

obstacles, angles,