Why did they title it Giraffes of Technology? In 21st-Century business, especially in the United States, organizations and their leaders often embrace a top-down, autocratic style in the quest to achieve short-term gains (e.q., quarterly profits for shareholders). Yet many studies in the area of servant leadership show that a nurturing, empathetic, and values-oriented approach creates greater business value in the long run. According to the authors, the giraffe is the least offensive beast in the wild. It bears no ill will toward any other animal. They view the giraffe as a metaphor for a leader with a unique lookout post–one who incents followership rather than intimidating others in the herd to behave in a certain manner.
Giraffes of Technology using six herbivore-inspired leadership traits that CEOs and managers must embrace over the next decade to create and enable sustainable organizations that enrich society. Today’s technology triggers a business environment that requires adapting to untidy change–change that isn’t easy but is necessary. The six chapters in the book are rooted in unique themes, or metaphors, centered on the behaviors of the giraffe in the wild: acting as a lookout post to focus on the long run vs. the short run; communicating with others as gentle giants; dealing with a violent birth; moving forward to inspire a never-stop-learning mind-set; dealing with the predator lions who seek to disrupt change; and blending into new herds to enable diversity of people and thought.
The book is an inviting, engaging read. It combines a touch of Back to the Future with a sense of Animal Kingdom to provide an inspiring look at the kind of leaders businesses need to succeed in the 21st Century.