The Big Five Lessons from the Bush.

After a truly stunning safari experience, (if you haven’t been you must)… I thought I’d sum up my lessons from the bush with my ‘Big Five’ business tips that I gleamed from safari.

Quick trivia question: Could you name which animals are referred to as the ‘Big Five’ in South Africa?

See if you can write them down now before you read on, go on, just for fun… Don’t peak, answers are at the bottom!

Here are my ‘big five tips’ for business – straight from my lessons from the bush.

1. Build a boma.

A “boma” is the name given to an enclosure built mainly from sticks and mud to protect an african tribes precious livestock and people from predators. Consider it a ‘ring fence’ to protect the things that are most valuable to them from outside dangers and to keep them from straying too.

You must build a boma to protect your clients, key employees and team members from outside dangers.

You do this today not with sticks and fire, but through showing you care. Build strong relationships, let clients and employees know you care about them, value them and look after them.


image 12. Listen, really learn to listen.

In the bush it’s a matter of survival. Not too dissimilar in business too. Take time to stop, look and listen. Listen to your clients and prospects. Understand what they are saying, how they say it and why they say certain things too.

Listen to your staff, your team, your peer group, what are they telling you? Understand what’s happening in their world not just your own.

Listen to what the competition are doing and why they’re doing it. Listen to your environment and what’s happening in your market. Don’t get so wrapped up in your world you fail to hear vital signs… good or bad.


3. Remain focused.

Despite all the noise of the bush. Predators must remain focused if they’re to feed and survive.

Impala, Kudu, Wildebeest have all developed alarm calls to warn one another of the presence of predators. Birds high in the skies or perched in the trees add to the chorus of alarm  calls to warn of imminent danger.

Lion headYet the lion successfully stalks it’s prey and feeds as it remains focused.

OK, so don’t stalk and kill your prey… but do you get distracted by all the nay sayers. Do you listen to the doom and gloom. Or are you focused on your goals and determined to succeed?

Do you get distracted by all the ‘stuff’ that needs doing every day that saps your time and energy… Or are you focused on success?




Herd4. Build a network you can trust.

The herd mentality in the bush is to look out for each other, to help, protect and support one another. They have a strong network they can trust.

Who’s got your back?

The herd also work as one guiding themselves to food sources and water sources. How does your network support and serve you? What do you do in terms of giving back and supporting others?

A strong network of suppliers, clients and colleagues is vitally important in business. The essence of a strong network can be distilled down into three words; Know, Like and Trust.


Zebra5. Be fit for business.

In the bush it’s all about the survival of the fittest.  It’s not too dissimilar in the business world too.

The herd as a network will support and nurture it’s young. At times it will also come to the aid of one of it’s own that has been injured… but only for so long. For the welfare of the group, every member must remain fit and alert of they are to thrive and not just survive.

In business you must remain agile. You must be alert. You must be on top of your game and wide awake when you are on the tools.

Are you fit for the business… or are you a ‘ready meal’ for your competitors?

Did you get them right? The Big Five are…

The Big Five