Does success require us to be badass in business?

Recently, when I was facing a number of business challenges, my lovely brother suggested a radical new approach.

“Maybe you should unleash a bit of your inner honey badger?”
My instant reaction was to splurt out my coffee, thinking my usually polite brother was making a rather intimate suggestion. Not the kind of thing he should discuss with his twin sister.
I mopped the coffee from my lap and composed myself. “Jeez Ben. What are you trying to say?”
“Look it up” he said, “the honey badger is mean- he might inspire you to kick some ass.” (He lives in Canada so now he says ass, not arse)
“Erm, ok, you nutter. Will do.”

It turns out there’s a reason the honey badger has few natural predators, namely its thick skin and “ferocious defensive abilities.” The honey badger has become a celebrity in the animal kingdom and beyond. He’s even made it onto onto T-shirts for humans (and animals) and, naturally, he’s become a YouTube sensation.
The “badass” honey badger specialises in his own form of direct action; namely beating the crap out of everyone in his path and doing really “crazy nasty” stuff like ripping the heads off snakes.
Check this video out and see what I mean. Personally I think the narrator, Randall, makes it completely hilarious.

Generally, I’m quite a mild mannered kinda girl. I value politeness and generosity and decency, whether in my personal life or in business, but maybe my brother had a point?

Without meaning to go all “Waltons” on you…. it must be possible for good people to be successful in business (#Biznice – Argh. Focus, stop mucking about with hashtags) Surely treating others kindly and with respect, should facilitate success, not rule it out.

But, what happens when the people you’re doing business with turn all “crazy nasty”? I’m not going to go all mental and start disposing of anyone who gets in my way, that’s for sure. But, perhaps I should be a bit tougher and bare my teeth when required.

The reality is, business is a game. It often comes down to survival of the fittest, and not everyone plays by the rules. Whilst having values is important, the fact is, when push comes to shove, if you lie down and take it, you’ll get eaten alive. Maybe being a little bit badass in business is ok – sometimes?

I think my brother is wiser than he or I realised. I’m planning to keep my inner honey badger locked away, until I really need him. Then I’ll let him out to play – but just for a while. I only hope he doesn’t munch the head off my inner dormouse while he’s in there.