Tracking a wild animal is a complex form of problem-solving. It calls upon a refined set of skills and a particular way of thinking. It compels us to be conscious of the interconnectedness of all life.
I want to show you how, by adopting the mindset of a tracker, you can make high-quality decisions.
And, how it can be used to solve modern-day business problems.
Wildlife trackers operate in a wild and wordless environment – where information is often incomplete – and this causes uncertainty.
To overcome this, trackers consider three interrelated factors: 1. The track evidence. 2. The physical landscape 3. The animal itself.
Decisions are made by merging the facts and the wider environmental significance, together with the animal’s purpose. This allows them to create a mental picture of the activity around them.
But to be successful, the tracker must also adopt certain mindsets. They must become discerning,creative, and sensitive to the environment.
This is most important.
The ability to constantly be shifting one’s attention between the detail and the bigger picture. Zooming in, and zooming out, constantly – is key to finding whatever you are tracking.
As it turns out, the ancient artform of tracking represents a mental framework for holistic decision-making.
Worldwide, decision-making is becoming increasingly expedient.
I’d love to show you how this can be changed.
We will put your team in the boots of an expert animal tracker! You will be asked to make the same decisions that they make.
https://alexandren.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Screenshot-DM.jpg7201280Alex Van den Heeverhttps://alexandren.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Alex-And-renias-Motivational-Speakers-2-1030x420.pngAlex Van den Heever2022-08-05 09:03:462022-08-18 02:02:55HOW TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
Early in our careers as guides, Renias and I received a radio call that a female leopard was seen feeding on a bushbuck kill.
The announcement was specific about the location.
As we neared, Renias gestured for me to turn left.
‘That’s not the place,’ I said. ‘It’s to the right’.
‘Ok, but I think there’s a leopard over there,’ replied Renias indifferently, pointing to a large jackalberry tree.
‘Jika ximatsi’, he said.
By now our guests were raining questions on me. They were VIP’s and I felt compelled to show them a good sighting. And we had a reliable report which I intended to use.
There was no time to waste following Renias’s hunch.
‘Jika ximatsi..ximatsi means left’ repeated Renias, now irate with my apparent contrariness.. and the guests had noticed his displeasure with me.
Not wanting to make a scene I grudgingly swung the Land Rover eastwards – following his suggestion to go left.
About halfway along Renias said, ‘hatlisa (faster), the leopard is moving now’.
Moments later a magnificent female leopard emerged from the woodland. The guests were awestruck. ‘Renias is a genius!’ pronounced one of them. “He speaks squirrel!” exclaimed another.
Incredibly, he used a tree squirrel’s faint danger call to determine the leopard’s presence and to interpret its behaviour.
I came to learn that it’s nearly impossible to successfully track a leopard without considering the alarm calls made by other animals.
The truth is that I had no chance of finding it myself. If it weren’t for Renias, our VIPs would likely not have seen a leopard.
I was oblivious to an entire dimension of nature’s language. And I wasn’t even aware that I was unaware. I also lacked the technical ability to recognise the omnipresent chirps of intelligence all around me.
And the pressure to deliver for my guests caused me to become hyper-focused – further impairing my awareness.
Our everyday lives are filled with signals – many of which go totally unnoticed.
My friend Grant Ashfield says, ‘An alarm call is a message from the future – it represents danger, the need to slow down, be vigilant and pay attention’.
And they come in many forms…
Niggling feelings of restlessness, apprehension, or recurring mistakes, maybe the first signs that you’re losing track.
For leaders, dull meetings, poor trust, people operating in silos, and lacking accountability – are clues that the team is in peril.
For organisations, the departure of good people, the entry of a competitor, and diminishing engagement – are signals.
The difficulty is that most signals are as faint as a squirrel’s call among the cacophony of others. And they’re often inconvenient too – the timing doesn’t necessarily suit.
The irony is that warning signs lead to opportunity – either from wisdom gained by avoiding danger, or the realisation of a goal – like finding a leopard.
The biggest threat of all is choosing to ignore the signs. Or being reluctant to act.
Noticing an alarm call is the first step in the journey of change – towards greater prospects.
Expert wildlife trackers rely on nature’s signs to find the animals they pursue. And for their safety.
Spend 5 minutes thinking about alarm calls you may have noticed in the last 24 hours. Can you interpret them, and more importantly, are you prepared to act on them?
Sign up for Tracking Success. We dedicate one of our campfire conversations to discussing alarm calls in our professional lives.
https://alexandren.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Crucial-alarm-calls.jpg481850Alex Van den Heeverhttps://alexandren.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Alex-And-renias-Motivational-Speakers-2-1030x420.pngAlex Van den Heever2021-10-14 16:44:312022-03-23 09:19:28CRUCIAL ALARM CALLS
The two speakers from very different backgrounds have come together to share their motivational talk, “The Power of Relationships,” reports www.motivationalspeaker.co.za
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Johannesburg, S.A.)–Though the system of Apartheid ended in the early 1990s, its impact can still be felt in modern South Africa, where racial, cultural, and class differences are still often perceived as barriers between people. Two friends and colleagues who have utterly broken down those barriers, Alex van den Heever and Renias Mhlongo are now sharing their story, “The Power of Relationships,” with the goal of helping others overcome obstacles to communication and friendship.
According to www.motivationalspeaker.co.za, the motivational presentation tells the true story of Alex, a white game ranger, and Renias, a black tracker and inheritor of the Shangaan pastoralist tradition. In working side by side and sharing a love of wildlife and animal tracking, a friendship developed between them despite their racial and cultural differences. In order to get to know each other well, they taught each other their own languages. “Learning Shangaan has made such a difference in my ability to understand Renias and where he comes from,” Alex commented.
The presentation also details the two men’s encounters with each other’s cultures. First, Alex visited Renias’s village, Dixie, where he was treated as a VIP guest. “In the 1990’s I thought that the villages were dirty and full of crime,” Alex commented, “but I experienced a level of generosity and a level of humanness I had never experienced before.” Renias then joined Alex for a trip to London, his first trip out of Kruger Park and his first encounter with a large European city. A thrilling story about how Renias saved Alex from a leopard attack demonstrates the immense trust that developed between the two men.
“Our goal in sharing our story,” said Alex, “is to inspire others to open their minds and learn how to actively participate in diverse teams. We want to show that it’s possible to build a deep trust and a productive friendship with someone from a different culture, and that diversity can be a source of strength.” The speakers emphasize that their story is not meant only for South Africans, but for international audiences.
In addition, they hope to offer simple steps to get rid of their own prejudices and meet others on an equal footing. According to Alex, simply being willing to listen to and try to understand another person’s experiences is the first step in breaking down the barriers of racism. To learn more about Alex and Renias or to book them for a presentation, visit motivationalspeaker.co.za
Alex van den Heever and Renias Mhlongo have worked together for 23 years, conducting safaris and training wildlife trackers. Their work has taken them to many countries in Africa, Australia, South America, and North America, and their story has been featured in several TV news documentaries. Their long friendship and working relationship represents the breaking down of racial barriers and serves as an inspirational model for the multicultural society of South Africa. They perform their cultural diversity presentation for corporations and businesses trying to learn and grow together in South Africa’s unique cultural and historic landscape.
Alex van den Heever
1st Floor Oxford Gate Hyde Park Lane
Hyde Park, Johannesburg, Gauteng 2196
Telephone: 013 735 5653
https://alexandren.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Alex-And-Renias.jpg9871683MS-Adminhttps://alexandren.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Alex-And-renias-Motivational-Speakers-2-1030x420.pngMS-Admin2018-03-13 14:38:352022-04-05 08:40:37Alex van den Heever and Renias Mhlongo Launch Cultural Diversity Presentation