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Business Thinking and Strategy Inspired by the African Leopard

Kivi Bernhard - Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa I developed a passion for studying Africa's predators and a love of the African bush. This love is what inspired the development of LeopardologyTM– The Hunt For Profit In A Tough Global Economy, recently named to Inc.'s list of "22 Books to Help You Get Ahead in Business and Life." In this book I use the hunting habits and techniques of the African leopard, perhaps the most successful feline predator on earth, to draw metaphors of personal and corporate leadership, trust and success. I want to share with you the Six Pillars of Positive Predatory Thinking and how you can apply them to your business. 


Six Pillars of Positive Predatory Thinking

1. Know what you are. The leopard has a clear undisturbed and unapologetic relationship with all of its tooling and apparatus, allowing it to deploy and use its entire being while on the hunt.

Take all of "you" to your market. Your company "personality" and brand are the only market differentiator you have!

2. Study your market territory. It is with amazement that we watch the leopard's uncanny ability to study, memorize and inventory its territory.

Study your operating market. Both the significant and the insignificant will help define your leadership initiatives.

3. Know your "prey". Leopards will spend 25% of their waking hours simply observing, studying and noting the movements and behavior of their prey.

Have you truly studied your typical customer or client? Do you really know who they are and how they think? Listen to and respond to their needs, not yours.

4. Study your competition. I have seen leopards deep in the bush or high up from the vantage point of a tree watching a lion or hyena hunt unfold 200 or 300 feet away. 

Within each specific region that your organization operates it is incumbent upon you to fully identify and then study your competition. Knowing who are they and how they "hunt" will help define your specific strategic vision.

5. Hunt your hunt. If all the exact criteria necessary for a successful leopard hunt are not in place, the leopard will abandon the hunt and live to hunt another day. 

Lead consistently with your organization's distinct signature. Abandon other leadership initiatives if they do not belong to your "hunt".

6. Assess the risk-to-reward ratio and maximize retention of leadership initiatives. Accepted as a phenomenon of the natural world, leopards have an ability to hoist their prey 15 - 20 feet up in a tree. This allows them to feed in peace and maximize their return. 

Finding new business is one thing, retaining and keeping them safe from competitor predators is another.

You can find more information about LeopardologyTM on my website and by listening to my past radio shows

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