I am midway through writing my second book. The book is about how to create a strategic mindset. I paused today to give thanks to life and consider how I will better support life once the book is published. Here is the first draft…
This book is dedicated to every person I have ever met and perhaps, just as importantly, our descendants. At some point, I realised, that everyone and I mean everyone we meet has a gift for us. Another’s gift comes when we offer our presence, loosen our mind and ask the right questions. Gifts can come from the most unexpected people and from the simplest of conversations.
A few years back, my conversation with Harvard Strategy Professor Michael Porter revealed to me as much about why strategy works and why it doesn’t. Edwin, a homeless man on the streets of San Diego taught me more about compassion as a strategy than anything I had ever read in a book. Fred, a first nation elder who I offered a ride, north of Sydney one afternoon, taught me more about human survival than any Man vs Wild TV series.
To quote Chuck Palahniuk, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” Our life, our business and our species have a finite life. Globally, average life expectancy is seventy years; globally, ninety-five per cent of businesses fail inside ten years; and global warfare, pandemics and climate change all pose a threat to the survival of our future generations.
Our distant ancestors considered the future impact of ideas and actions seven generations ahead. Today, most executives, bankers and politicians look as far as the next quarterly earnings, annual bonus or re-election goal. Strategically, we need to be sensing and seeing much further ahead. Greater awareness shows us that we operate in a paradoxical world of interconnected and balanced forces. Our businesses and lives are part of a holistic system, where if we listen to one another, plan carefully and move purposefully, we can happily share even more of life’s gifts for generations to come.
Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary (www.lolayabonobo.org) will receive a portion of author royalties. This sanctuary provides life-saving rehabilitation to orphaned bonobos. Bonobos are endangered primates, native to the Congo, who have a genetic map closer to humans than any other species. Like us, bonobos feel love, joy and empathy. Sadly due to illegal bushmeat hunting in the Congo, that targets bonobos, many infants are left to die in the jungle, having witnessed their mothers being slaughtered before their eyes.
Infants enter the sanctuary with extensive trauma and ‘failure to thrive syndrome’. Some infants cannot be saved. The Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary focusses on providing support to heal the trauma and enables infants to grow and develop life skills, so they can be rehabilitated and eventually released to safer parts of the jungle.