The Cheetah Knows How To Start and Stop

Our words can easily say this is a new beginning, but it’s easy for our actions to revert to their old ways. And that can be fatal. 

Cheetahs can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour within three seconds. Their speed is why many believe they’re incredible hunters. But numerous studies on Cheetahs’ hunting prowess have shown it’s not actually their rare speed that makes them so effective. Their real talent lies in understanding when to start and when to stop. They never confuse the two and instead blend both seamlessly. 

Are you as a leader trying to start something or are you stopping something within your organization’s culture?

The question may seem obvious as these two sound like polar opposites. But there’s a thin, dangerous line where starting and stopping intersect for many of us. We may believe we’re starting something anew, but if we don’t re-evaluate our plan, we’re likely going to make the same mistakes that have haunted us in the past. Our words can easily say this is a new beginning, but our actions can then revert to their old ways. We must realize that any behavioral change requires harmony between our words and our actions. A lack of it can be fatal. 

When we attempt to change something, whether it’s culture, behavior or attitude, we will never progress if we don’t comprehend how to start and how to stop. Every detail, however minute, can cause us to stop, thus making picking up again even harder. But if we know when to stop — and actually formulate a strategy around it — then starting again is smooth, much like it is for the Cheetah. If we never slow down, never take time to evaluate performance levels, we will continue to have to re-start — and re-starting rarely works.

The Cheetah measures its performance each day — either by eating or going hungry — and constantly evaluates its start/stop behavior.

How are you making sure that you're not constantly starting and then stopping? The answer to that question might be the difference between catching your prey or going hungry.