Work's a zoo? Embrace your leadership spirit animal.
We’re all humans here, right?  Well, maybe.  While we may be more civilized than animals at the zoo, or in the wild, we have still demonstrate behaviors similar to our less civilized brethren.

If work sometimes feels like a zoo, it may be because we sense or demonstrate characteristics of the animal kingdom.  Whether intentional or not, we’ve all met – or been – someone that seems to be channeling a spirit animal.

Personally, I think of myself as a lion.  I’m fiercely protective of my team and family.  Read on to find other characteristics of the king of the jungle, and see which spirit animal you – or those around you – have embraced.

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Lions are fierce and protective of the pride (team).  Familial by nature, lions can live long through cooperation or die young due to infighting.  Everyone in the pride has a role to play, taking care of one another while excluding outsiders.


Gorillas are lead by a single, dominant male, who would defend his extended family with his life.  He’s the center of attention and makes all the decisions.  He will also throw things when confronted as a warning to back off.


Giraffes are gregarious and playful.  They spend time in peaceful groups.  Leaders are willing to stick their necks out to defend the group.


Elephants tend to congregate, led by the oldest in the group (longest tenure).  They have long memories, or institutional knowledge, that make them effective decision makers.  They also tend to be self-aware.


Bulls charges into situations, usually head first.  They fight for domination of whatever group they are in.


Peacocks are pretty and know it.  They like to preen to attract attention of those around them.  They are loud, vocalizing their intentions, and exhibit fearless behavior.


Turtles are slow and deliberate.  They are adaptable and can usually make their way in a variety of situations.


Snakes can sense you coming, even if you can’t see them.  They tend to be vicious and can pop out when you least expect it.


Rabbits run and hide at the first sign of trouble.  They have big ears that hear everything, so they know when bad news is coming.  Rabbits see almost 360 degrees to know what’s going on around them, but have a small blind spot on the bridge of their own nose.


Puppies are just happy to be here.  They have high energy, crave attention, and chase just about anything that catches there attention.  While cute to watch and trainable, they occasionally leave a mess behind them that needs to be cleaned up.


Bees work hard and have specific roles, but ultimately have a hierarchy that surrounds one position of power or strength.  The Queen has one job and delegates the rest.  She regulates the behaviors of others in the group.


Chameleons adapt to their environment, whatever the situation at hand.  They can see many things at once, seeming to know everything that goes on around them.


Sloths are known as the laziest of all animals.  They blend in so they do not attract attention.  The are skilled at hanging around indefinitely, regardless of any moves against them.

Humans – the adaptable species

The animal kingdom holds a wealth of variety in how they engage each other, defend their relationships, and establish dominance.  Ultimately, humans show the same kind of variety – in how we live, love and lead.

Consider what type of animal we channel in our interactions.  What we project can influence interactions with those around us.

Predatory animals can frighten those that are traditionally prey, causing them to be defensive.  In the case of other predators, we may inspire others to go on the offense.

One of the great mysteries, challenges, and opportunities of being human is our ability to adapt to our environment and circumstances.  No matter our preferred spirit animal, we can adopt characteristics of others.  For example, if our spirit animal is not a natural leader, we may supplement our capabilities with those of another species.

Maybe humans are the ultimate chameleon.


Have you encountered some of these spirit animals walking among us?  What spirit animal do you align with?  Please share yours in the comments below.