Leaders Do Not Live In Captivity

Captivity is a safe and secure way of living for a lot of animals around the world. They have guaranteed meals, guaranteed friends, guaranteed comfort and very few challenges to tackle, or so it seems. The problem with this, however, is that these are wild animals that are born to hunt for their meals, born to earn their place in groups  and born to survive and succeed in the wild. These animals that live in captivity don’t have a choice in whether or not they want to live life in the wild or in captivity however, we, as humans, do unless we're leaders. There is no room in captivity for leaders.

We as humans have the choice that animals do not thanks to humans. We can choose to live our lives in captivity and other times we live in captivity because that is all we really know. People that live in captivity are content with going along day by day and week by week to put food on the table, maintain our secure friendships and be satisfied with living safely. On the other hand, we can choose to live in the wild. We can live a life that will be challenging, where there are no guarantees and where we carve and create our own future that is purposeful and rewarding. Leaders choose to live in the wild, not in captivity.

The male lion is one of the iconic leaders of the animal kingdom. I have uncovered some incredible facts about this impressive leader that fascinate me. Did you know, the average lifespan of a male lion in the wild is 15 years compared to in captivity where it is 30 years? This statistic suggests that the male lion is better off living in captivity where it can enjoy a life that is twice as long not to mention without any of the challenges and risks that come with living in the wild. The male lion, however, is designed to be the leader of a pride. He is born to fight for and protect his pride when threatened or challenged either by another pride of lions or another species. He is known as the ‘King’ of the pride and takes ownership and responsibility of the welfare of his pride because he is the leader. The question then is, can the male lion fulfil his role and purpose of being the leader of the pride in captivity even if it means living a longer life? On average in captivity the male lion spends over 80% of his time alone and is only with other lions for feeding time and to breed. The Lion can not then live his purpose to protect and lead his pride in challenging times because there is no such thing as a challenge for the male lion in captivity other than not being able to lead.

Unfortunately the male lions do not have the choice about whether they live in the wild and fulfil their purpose as a leader or whether they are confined to captivity and can not. We as humans on the other hand have the choice and as leaders have a responsibility to not only ourselves but the people we impact to make the right choice. We are also very fortunate that thee choice we make does not determine our life span the same way in which it does with the male lion. What it does do though is determine our ability to make the impact that we were meant to as leaders. The biggest difference between living in the wild and captivity for us compared to the lion is simply a mindset. You don’t have to literally stop shopping at the supermarket and start hunting for your food but you do have to shift your mindset. Leaders take risks, leaders are at the forefront in tough times and leaders are motivating others to reach their potential. A leader can not live a safe and secure life and fulfil their purpose so ask yourself as a leader, where do you choose to live?

Amy Savage