This has nothing to do with massive animals found in Africa. It has to do with getting things right in an office environment.
HIPPO is an acronym that stands for HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion. And if your company or team is run via the HIPPO method, you are doing “It” wrong.
And what is, “It”? In this case, “It” means that either your company leader has hired small talent and purposefully wants a team of people below him who are there to execute his/her orders. This should tell you how you and your colleagues are perceived by your leader.
Or “It” could mean your HIPPO does not realize that they have hired knowledgable staff, who are paid by the company to solve problems with their domain expertise. HIPPO is rightly associated with loud-mouthed jerks.
Either way the employees are gonna be unhappy and short-lived. Talented workers do not want to work under an authoritarian HIPPO. They want to be asked to solve problems, be given the resources to do so, work with colleagues to finalize solutions, then implement.
As for me, I only want to see HIPPO’s when I go to the zoo.