Business Lesson From The Wild

Recently, I found a blog article by Paulo Coelho published in 2007 about how mother giraffes parent their calves.  Paulo Coelho wrote:

The giraffe gives birth standing up, so the first thing that happens to a new-born giraffe is a fall of about two metres.

Still dazed, the baby tries to stand up on its four legs, but its mother behaves very strangely: she gives the baby giraffe a gentle kick which sends it sprawling. It tries to get up and is again knocked down.

This process is repeated several times, until the new-born giraffe is too exhausted to stand. At that point, the mother kicks it again, forcing it to get to its feet. After that, she does not push the baby giraffe over again.

The explanation is simple: in order to survive predators, the first lesson a giraffe must learn is to get to its feet quickly.

As you can imagine, this sounds like one of those online stories that makes the rounds that has no basis in fact but delivers a message about life. However, a quick visit to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation bore out the claims made in Paul Coelho’s article.

Many of you may think you know what is about to follow in this article, and perhaps you do.

The fact of the matter is that the business world is a special jungle all its own, and as with every jungle, there are a few predators out there waiting to make a meal of you:  lions, hyenas, hunting dogs and leopards in business suits.

For those of you who are young entrepreneurs or who have just entered the world of self-employment, you may want to pay close attention to how a mother giraffe’s behavior can be translated into the business world.

Surround yourself with like-minded mentors who are willing to  push you forward when you come up against situations where you put yourself at risk.  If they give you the equivalent of a giraffe kick, thank them because they’re forcing you to learn what you need to know to thrive in the business jungle.

Take a page from their book of experience and learn to recognize who your allies are, and where they can be found.  Know where dangers lurk so you can sidestep them.  And if you should find yourself in the company of lions, hyenas, hunting dogs or leopards in business suits, know how to circumvent interactions that jeopardize you and your business.

The important lesson to take from the behaviors of the mother giraffe sit that no matter how hard you fall, get back up on your feet right away and keep moving forward.

Elyse Bruce


One Response to “Business Lesson From The Wild”

  1. mutanatia Says:

    I have received a few of those giraffe kicks 😉
    I also want to say that it reminds me also of “when you get knocked down, you get right back up.”

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