by Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, author of “Time to Lead: Lessons for Today’s Leaders from Bold Decisions that Changed History“
“A fox knows many smaller things, but a hedgehog knows one big thing.” – Archilochus, Ancient Greek poet
Philosopher Isaiah Berlin expanded on Archilochus’ quote in his 1953 essay The Hedgehog and the Fox, which divided writers and thinkers into two categories. Hedgehogs view the world through the lens of a single defining idea and foxes draw on a wide variety of experiences and do not boil it down into a single idea.
The distinction is highly useful as a study of leadership, particularly when examined as part of four Aesopian possibilities that include eagles and ostriches.
Hedgehogs are people who relate everything to a single central vision, which serves as their universal organizing principle. This vision shapes how they think and feel, how they understand the world. Hedgehogs … Read the rest