The beauty and splendour seen in the animal kingdom is remarkable. As the human race, we’re yet to exhaust exploring the huge expanse of all creatures that are in existence. It’s actually said roughly 80% of sea life still remains to be explored and discovered. Studying animal and plant life makes us realize some mind-blowing features and capabilities they have that far exceed us, humans. Bottom line is that there are many valuable life lessons that we can learn by looking at how they go through their life spans. Today I’m discussing some business lessons that we can learn and be inspired on through observing certain animals.
Ants are so remarkable that they are even mentioned as a reference point in the Bible. The key learning point from ant life is unsupervised teamwork. Ants have no ruler, guide or overseer yet they all know their respective individual roles and execute them smoothly. Ants are also known for their conscious ability to gather up food during harvest time and storing it up for summer. You probably might have come across ants moving in two, opposite parallel single files doing this. They’re so orderly and have considerate regard for each other. As they go in their separate directions I’ve often marvelled at how they give each way if they bump into each other. The reference of ants in the bible is as an admonishment to those who are lazy. Ants can surmount any obstacle as can be seen in how they can find another way out if the entrance to their habitat is blocked. All these are things we can emulate in how we run our businesses.
Bees are generally shunned by people because of how dangerous they can be but they are immensely important. Did you know that if all the bees in world were to go extinct it wouldn’t be long before a global food crisis would hit? Bees are an extremely important part of the ecosystem owing to their crucial role in cross-pollination. Anyways, everything bees do is characterised by forward-thinking and preparing the future. Worker bees work flat out to cater for the welfare of the queen bee. The queen bee isn’t just a royal figure waiting to be pampered per se; it plays a critical role of laying eggs that guarantee future colonies of bees. Normally after it’s done laying eggs it dies; in essence, the mission would have been accomplished. This is quite akin to succession planning that I discussed in a previous article. The whole existence of bees is characterised by creating value for the next individual. They ensure our global food production is stable despite the fact they don’t live long. Ever wondered how bees go through so much work to produce honey which we humans end up enjoying. That should be a learning point for us in business that our endeavours should be inspired more by creating value for others rather than self-aggrandisement.
I’m quite fascinated by the eagle because my name, ‘Clive’ remotely means an eagle. An eagle is well-known for its piercingly sharp vision. Consider the fish eagle, for instance, it can spot something as small as a fish that’s underwater from several kilometres in the sky and can swoop down on it with speed and never misses it. That’s a display of precise and coherent combination of vision, speed and accuracy. These are qualities business people should emulate in running their businesses. You should be able to see into the future right now and chart a course combined with the right speed to apprehend your goals. When an eagle spots a target that’s what it aims and goes for, no second thoughts and no misses. This teaches us the importance of setting goals and being objective in seeing to it that we accomplish them. Eagles are also known for living in seclusion; oftentimes putting up nests on cliff edges. This also teaches us something; it matters who you associate with in business – associate with people who operate and think on the same wavelength as you. The other remarkable thing about eagles is that they fly even higher during storms. What makes this possible is that they leverage on the stormy winds to give themselves more traction to soar higher. In essence, they are storm-riders; instead of being overwhelmed by storms they ride on them. Stormy days shall always come in business but learn to ride on them like the eagle.
The lion is known as the king of the jungle but interestingly it’s not the fastest animal nor is it the largest animal. What can you learn from that? – have the mindset of dominion. You might not be the biggest business in the trade and you might also not be the swiftest business but you can still dominate. The key is in having the proper mindset; the mindset of a conqueror, a dominator. One other interesting lesson from the lion is capitalizing on the weaknesses of your prey. When lions are hunting for prey they spot vulnerabilities and complacency in their target prey. That’s what they use to isolate and ultimately pounce on their prey. Same goes for business; you take note of your competitors’ weaknesses and capitalize on them.
THE WEAVER BIRD
Weaver birds get their name from how they build intricate nests. Their patience and resilience in doing so is something to emulate as business people. They build nests and also court females for reproduction in summer – when food is abundantly available. That’s making hay while the sun shines something every business person should do – preparing for the dark days. These birds nest and feed in colonies which teaches us collaboration in all we do, after all, there’s security in numbers.
I’m sure you got some inspirations from how these remarkable creatures live. Surely we can’t be surpassed by these creatures that don’t even communicate through articulate speech.