Revisiting the Rhino Principle


Rhinos have poor eyesight, and they aren’t terribly bright. What makes them formidable creatures is their ability to Charge. Because their eyesight is so poor, and because they are so stupid, they often charge at tour buses or small animals, nonthreatening objects that they can neither eat nor mate with.

The remarkability of this creature lies in its ability to make decisions and then execute with resolution. Rhinoceroses don’t waste time worrying about incomplete information. Rhinoceroses can kill elephants.

The opposite of a rhinoceros is a squirrel. Squirrels have excellent vision and are extremely intelligent. They operate on a more complete set of information than the rhino. But they exhibit so much indecision when they try to cross street that they are frequently squished by cars*.


A good leader doesn’t always have to make the right decision. Oftentimes, there really is no correct decision. But a good leader must make a decision and execute it decisively. Otherwise the organization gets squished.

*The real reason why squirrels dash erratically across the road is because this is how they instinctively confuse predators. But still, far fewer squirrels would become roadkill if they took a few rhinoceros lessons.

See Also:
The Rhino Principle –Forbes

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