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The Leopard Wisdom – move more slowly, be patient and strike at the right time

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

As shared on a recent blog I was recently in the bush veld visiting a game reserve close to the Kruger Park. Despite having visited numerous game reserves before I have never seen a leopard in the bush and was hoping for this to change.

Within the first ten minutes of the very first game drive we were hit with a strong smell of what could only be some kind of cat urine and shortly after that were rewarded not only with a sighting of an amazing leopard but also of her two and a half month old cub. We were really fortunate that this was not the last sighting of them either – we spotted them a couple of times over the next few days.

Leopards are well-known for their patience. They stalk with slow precision and when the time is completely right they attack with explosive determination to capture and kill their prey.

What about us? Does the virtue of patience still exist in our society, or in your company, or are you looking for a quick fix? To have patience means to be calm, to have self-control and to be able to tolerate delay. In our ‘thirty-different-directions-at-once’ society, patience have been replaced with impatience and speed is the new master.

Hurrying through life at a blurred speed destroys not only our social connections but alos, too often, our effectiveness. In addition sometimes we move at such a dizzying pace that we shoot past some very good opportunities. Living life and business at such dangerous speeds means we have no real time to look, observe, think and then act, like the leopard, at exactly the right time. Granted the thought of slowing down in such a frenetic world is not always that easy to manage but slowing down does not mean giving up or giving in. Rather slowing down is all about harnessing the power of patience in choosing the right time to strike – and when we act we certainly act quickly, if the leopard did not move quickly when it needed to it would not eat! If we do not move quickly when we believe that the right opportunity has presented itself we will not ‘catch’ the opportunity and reap the benefits of our patience.

Managing the rhythms in our businesses – and switching between patience and action – is an important habit to learn.

 

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