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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

What Research on Cats Can Teach You About Leadership

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Have you heard the latest research about cats? No? You’ve not made time in your busy schedule to learn this cutting edge information? (Insert sarcastic tone here). No worries, we’re here to help.

If you’re a cat owner, you know that cats enjoy curling up inside boxes. It may be because the pressure against their bodies makes them feel cozy and secure, reminiscent of when they were kittens surrounded by littermates. Another theory is that they are drawn to potential hiding spots which helps them ambush their prey.

But new research has revealed that cats will also fit themselves inside a two dimensional optical illusion that looks like a square. If you tape out the corners of a square on your floor, chances are your feline friend will sit within the outlined space, even though there are no actual walls. The study suggests that cats are susceptible to optical illusions, just as humans are.

Which brings us to why this could actually be relevant to you.

It reminds us of another phenomenon that we see in our work every day. That people put themselves in boxes comprised of their limiting beliefs. Even though these thoughts reflect an incomplete view of reality, they are equally, if not more, powerful in influencing our behavior.

Here are some samples of common beliefs that challenge entrepreneurs and company leaders. Do any of these sound familiar?

If I don’t do it, it won’t get done correctly.

There’s not enough time, money, labor, etc.

It’s too complicated.

I can’t trust my team.

This kind of thinking can easily become automatic and pervasive. When this happens, it will obstruct your growth, impede your team, and create damaging ripple effects throughout the organization.

Just like cats and their boxes, these limiting beliefs can feel cozy and secure even though they are restrictive. Like an itchy sweater, you don’t realize how uncomfortable it truly is until you take it off.

Fortunately, humans are much easier to train than cats and can be coaxed out of their comfort zones.

Stay tuned for our next blog in which we’ll discuss ways to change the beliefs that bind you.

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