The channel picks its fantastic beasts

Are you a butterfly or a lion? Billy MacInnes finds it's not as silly a question as you may think
Image: Alexas Fotos via Pexels

4 August 2022

Did you ever stop to wonder just what people mean when they describe someone as “an absolute beast”? While it’s not something that has preoccupied me for any great length of time there’s still something weirdly non-specific about it. Look it up. A beast is any animal other than human, especially a four-footed mammal. So that’s quite a wide-range to choose from.

From my own perspective, I always imagined something big and hairy, yeti-like. But that particular beast, like the human the term it is applied to, is a bipod. So, to be honest, I haven’t really applied the term correctly in my head when someone uses it in connection with a particular person. I have no idea whether the person being singled out as the beast in question would take offence at being viewed as a yeti rather than, say, a grizzly bear or tiger. I guess it might depend on how seriously they take their personal grooming.

Nevertheless, in the absence of anything definitive on that subject, it was interesting to see how people view themselves when it comes to the animal they identify with the most. For this insight, I’m indebted to CRN UK which published some intriguing results when participants in the publication’s Vendor Power List were asked to nominate their spirit animal.




I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that the lion and eagle were among the most popular animals. Of the 32 people who chose a spirit animal, three chose the lion and three the eagle. You can see why. Both are very highly-regarded when it comes to the animal kingdom and enjoy the position of apex predators in their respective food chains.

As one of those who chose the lion, Fujitsu Channel & alliances director UK & I Paul McLean explained his choice to CRN in the following terms: ”The lion represents courage in the face of difficulties and strength in overcoming challenges.”

Roy Borden, VP of global distribution and partner sales at Broadcom Software, highlighted the eagle’s “dual ability to broadly assess their landscape with 360-degree vision while also being able to hone in, prioritise and focus on the most important immediate parts of that landscape”.

Slightly more surprising was that both were beaten to the top spot by our old friend, the dog, which was chosen by four respondents. The characteristics most associated with our canine friends are loyalty and faithfulness. Neil MacDonald, UK & Ireland channel director at HP Inc, summed up the dog’s characteristics: “Loyalty, bravery, affection, protection, communication, patience, and curious.”

But there are some unfortunate associations with them too which he didn’t mention, highlighted by phrases such as ‘a dog’s dinner’, ‘go to the dogs’, ‘a dog’s life’ and when things get particularly intense, a ‘dog eat dog’ world.

Surprisingly, the humble butterfly got two nominations. Celine Cazali, SAP UK & Ireland chief partner officer, took an online test that revealed the butterfly was her spirit animal. “It must be because I am very adaptable and open to change,” she said. “I tend to embrace things, people and seem to have a positive growth mindset.”

When CRN added responses from those at the EMEA level, the top performing spirit animal overall was the horse with seven picks, just ahead of the lion on six. The dog and dolphin tied in third place with four nominations each.

It’s fair to say there was quite a menagerie all told, with the tiger, manatee, chimpanzee, chameleon, leopard, cheetah, bear, cat, wolf and crocodile/great white shark getting a mention. Even the bee made it onto the list.

No yetis, though.

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