When CHASING your DREAMS, the EASY way is rarely the BEST WAY, as WILDLIFE conservationist Bradley Trevor Greive DISCOVERED.
there’s much to be learnt from bears in the wild that can be applied to business, says Bradley Trevor Greive
Paratrooper, wildlife conservationist and bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive has sold more than 30 million books and is one of the world’s most sought-after creative consultants. His latest book, Penguin Bloom, is being made into a Hollywood movie by Reese Witherspoon and Naomi Watts, but he has also spent much of the last six years studying Alaskan brown bears on the sub-Arctic island of Kootznoowoo. There, he uncovered some unexpected business lessons…
BEING SMART IS BETTER THAN BEING BIG
Despite there being an abundance of food, Kootznoowoo isn’t an easy place to live, even if you’re a gigantic bear, simply because you’re always competing with roughly 2000 other gigantic bears. While size does matter, intelligence and creativity matter even more. I’ve found the bones of heavyweight males that were badly beaten while trying to assert themselves. I’ve also watched smaller bears live well by using their brains to stay out of trouble. Don’t jeopardise your goals by confusing power with success. Your time, talent, reputation and capital are the lifeblood of your business. If you put any of these at unnecessary risk, then you’re not being smart enough and this can be fatal to your brand.
LAY LOW WHILE YOU BUILD YOUR STRENGTH
Despite their fearsome appearance, Kootznoowoo brown bears often share moments of tenderness and compassion. I once saw a large female who’d suffered a broken leg. I was sure she wouldn’t survive the injury, but I was wrong. Two years later I found her grazing in a meadow with a limp, but otherwise in good condition. She’d wisely avoided concentrated, contested bear territory while she recovered. Then, when she re-entered bear society, she was back to full strength and was, once again, a force to be reckoned with. Bluffing will get you killed in the bear world, and the same is true for your business when you’re not at 100 per cent. Competitors and investors can sense weakness in your desperation. Pulling back and reducing your exposure to risk while you retool and rebuild when things aren’t working can help you and your brand come back stronger.