Dusk falls over a grassy plain. A young antelope looks up, startled.
We hear the voice of David Attenborough narrating the graceful dance of a lioness stalking her prey. A rustle, a leap, the kill. We see the strategy, power, and skill, and we’re left in awe. The lion makes it look effortless.
But the moment of the kill is the end point of a longer journey. Those lionesses didn’t just arrive in the veld, ready to pounce. It took work to get there, and they didn’t do it alone.
Lead Like Lions
A pride of lions is really a team of carefully-selected members. Belonging to a pride is essential to a lion’s survival. The right team means they’re all safer and more successful on a hunt. There is no place for ego, laziness, or distraction – each member focuses on the task at hand for the good of the pride.
That lines up pretty well with how a business works, doesn’t it? It’s the perfect business leadership example. Perhaps not quite as dramatic or as life-or-death, but if something is off, it has an impact on everyone.
Ian Thomas is a South African author in the field of business leadership, a keynote speaker, and a former game ranger. I was fascinated by the parallels he’s drawn between lion prides and businesses, particularly business leadership lessons from lions (I love good alliteration!). He got me thinking about how these parallels manifest for all of us at Curious Lion. Join me as I dive into the dynamics of an effective pride.
Hunting the Buffalo
Lions generally hunt small to medium game. Impala, zebra, wildebeest. And they’re built for it. Big game, like buffalo, requires practice, bravery, physical strength, and crucially, a team effort. Buffalos are big, dangerous animals. A daunting opponent. Every single lion in the pride needs to be on board with hunting the buffalo – otherwise, they all fail and go hungry.
Unpacking the Pride
So if you’re going to go after something firstly you need the skills, the individuals with a certain set of skills, in this case, we are talking buffalo, so buffalo-hunting skills. They need the mental ability to believe that they can go after buffalo. And I also think that in the sense of what we describe as passion, they need to want to hunt buffalo.
The name “Curious Lion” is not an accident. Curiosity, inquisitiveness, bravery, strength – yes, all of these apply to the spirit of this company.
If we take what we do here at Curious Lion – we have the buffalo in our sights. We’re hunting the proverbial beast that is providing Revenue Enablement as a Service. I spent some time thinking about how our Curious Lion pride has adapted to the hunt, and here’s what I came up with:
People: We have the right people who all want the buffalo. Our pride is committed to hunting buffalo.
Skills: Each member of the pride has a unique set of skills that contributes to the success of the hunt.
Passion: We each want that buffalo. We want to create transformational experiences; we want to enable companies and their people to embrace a culture of learning; and we want to expand communities of learning.
Courage: We take the risks we need to take, push the envelope and compete with ourselves – and as a result, the industry at large.
I am, honestly, blown away by how pride-like the Curious Lion team is. Whether by design or an alignment of the stars, to know that we’re so closely mirroring an instinctive, primal call is really powerful.
Curiosity Makes This Cat Powerful
A cub [who] has watched [her] mother hunt buffalo has an advantage because she has seen it done successfully… So they do have experience plus the physical ability and, as we explained earlier, the strength and the courage.
We have the incredible advantage of being able to watch each other in our element. We each see our peers execute transformational courses; we see the kinds of assets they’re creating, the boundaries they are pushing, and the learning experiences they’re crafting. We share these with each other, we learn from one another, and we are always challenging ourselves to create work that is better than the last.
Trust is key. We know that any one of our team members is ready to help or provide support when it’s needed, no questions asked. And we respect each other enough to show up. We have implicit trust in each other, the Curious Lion pride. We support one another, we show up, and we are always ready to hold each other accountable.
Our curiosity – and by extension our courage to pursue it – is one of our biggest strengths. We use every opportunity to ask questions. We’re not afraid to say “I don’t know” and we don’t stop trying to be better. We’re constantly hunting bigger game – both as a company, as well as individually. Curiosity is encouraged and celebrated at Curious Lion. We have the freedom to run wild, chase the horizon, and push boundaries. And we point that curiosity inward, too: We don’t shy away from picking things apart, interrogating the status quo of processes or our own learning methodologies.
Our goal at Curious Lion is to remain ahead of the pack. We want to get to the root of problems; we thrive when it comes to strategic manoeuvering; we adapt to our environment; we cement our reputation as business leaders, and the apex predator of learning.
When you are lucky enough to find yourself among a group of people working towards the same mission as you, eager to push through the discomfort of growing together…well, you’ve found your people. That’s your pride.
When you think of lions in the wild, it’s often an image of a lion lazing in the shade. They come off as lethargic, without a care in the world but the truth is, they’re reveling in the aftermath of their victory. They’ve planned, they’ve stalked, and they’ve worked as one to bring home the lion’s share.
They say the roar of a lion reverberates through the human chest. Here at Curious Lion, we each feel it deep within ourselves. We hear the call and we are ready to answer, together.