Every Morning in Africa, a Gazelle Wakes

Remember the old joke about the two explorers on the plain in Africa when they hear the roar of a nearby lion. One explorer quickly starts putting on running shoes, to the amazement of the other. “You must be crazy if you think you can outrun a Lion” says the second explorer. “I don’t need to outrun the lion” responds the first explorer “I just have to run faster than you!”

There is an ancient African proverb. Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

Sometimes when we are faced with change, often perceived as danger threatening, there is a temptation to pull tighter round the metaphorical camp fire circle and wait to see what will happen. This is where comfort and familiarity can be found, and it is easy to associate with other people in the same mindset. There is a facile belief that Lions would not venture into such a safe place.

However if we are in business, this is exactly the wrong thing to do. The initiative rests with with the first one with their running shoes on. When circumstances change in business, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.