Image credit: My friend, Marshall Matz, who recently visited Africa with his wife Debbie, as my guests.

The lion and the ranger (Part 1)

__Lessons from the bush.

I once watched a wildlife program which reminded me of some very important leadership and entrepreneurial (life) lessons. In this new series, I am going to talk about a few of them. Let’s get started: A lion started killing cattle in a village near a game park. The people became scared and angry, and demanded that the lion be found and killed. Others went as far as to say all lions should be hunted down and destroyed.

The government sent in a team of rangers armed and ready to hunt down the rogue lion. An astute ranger asked to examine the carcass of a dead cow that had been half-eaten by the lion. He explained to the villagers that studying the carcass would help him understand whether it was one or more lions involved.

Upon examination he concluded that it was only one lion, but he really wanted to understand why it had changed its diet to cattle. Examining the way it ate the meat, the ranger concluded that the lion had an infection in its mouth caused by a bad tooth!

When they found the lion, they tranquilized it and a vet attended to its bad tooth! Within days the lion returned to its natural prey in the wild, and was never seen again in the village.

I was fascinated by the whole program, but as I thought about it later I realized that the entire saga had some truly profound leadership and entrepreneurial lessons.

As an exercise, I would like to invite those of you who lead or aspire to be leaders to give me your observations. Let’s have one liners (don’t meander or waffle):

# My leadership lesson is…

Take your time and write as often as you can (over several days). Also discuss it with your friends. I will “like” some, but no prizes… it’s too important!

To be continued. . .

by 22 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

22 thoughts on “The lion and the ranger (Part 1)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    I call Marshall my “twin brother,” not just because we look the same, but also because he has fought passionately over years for the interests of African smallholder farmers in the US Congress. Watching Marshall fight for our interests, including raising money, has been a very humbling experience. As the Apostle Paul put it, we should hold all people of goodwill in high esteem. And for all you young women out there who want to get to the top, check out Debbie Matz’s bio (his wife) and be totally inspired by her amazing achievements:

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    “Forget it enough to get over it, remember it enough so it doesn’t happen again!” (Parent overheard saying to a young child. Food for thought for all ages…)

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now” (Chinese proverb). All great things take time to grow… I hope by now you have gotten started. Meanwhile, thinking about some lessons in nature, here’s some “Advice from a tree” I saw somewhere:

    # Stand tall and proud
    # Go out on a limb
    # Remember your roots
    # Drink plenty of water
    # Be content with your natural beauty
    # Enjoy the view!

  4. Tapiwa Zimudzi

    1) Tip off will be Celtics vs Cavs and Warriors vs Rockets

    2) Double header on ESPN on 18 Oct ET USA, 76ers vs Wizards and Timberwolves vs Spurs

    3) Stephen Curry and Antony Davis via

    Am replying from Zimbabwe and already have my Kwese decoder ready for NFL and NBA season. But I don’t have an iPad though….hint

  5. Yoo Ali

    As a leader you must have the patience to examine the facts on both sides of an issue before determining the final course of executive action.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I’m always fascinated by how people react to new technological developments.
    In the banner picture above I’m watching a movie using Virtual Reality (VR). I was actually inserted into the movie, and I was one of the characters. The backpack I’m wearing was vibrating and making all kinds of noises.

    I have been following these kind of developments for a while [as an entrepreneur].
    Do you remember the questions an entrepreneur asks:
    #”What does this mean for my industry and my business?”
    #”How do I seize the opportunity this might create?”
    #”what’s my entry point into this new sector, even with my limited resources?”

    Those with Kwese decoders will know that we have a channel called ESL. It’s one of the sports channels, and it has a bigger following than many other channels.
    You can also visit our website:
    These are just a few of our initiatives in this space. The rest I will not talk about now for obvious entrepreneurial reasons.

    When you visit websites like Gamer.Kwese.Com, or, or Kwesefied; visit them with the eyes of an entrepreneur.
    What do you “see”?
    Do you see a massive business being created or do you see fads and gimmicks?
    Are you asking [yourself] the right questions, as an entrepreneur?

    I can tell you that the company in our group that runs these websites is a very, very serious business. You can buy a cell phone business from me anytime, but not this one!

    #see me in the banner picture: that is not a game!
    I did not visit a futurist concept either, it was a full fledged business where people were paying money, and it is run by a huge company.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    My oldest daughter and I spent two days at a workshop organized by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in San Jose this week. The workshop brought together philanthropists working in the area of education. We were looking at ways we can accelerate access to better education across the globe.
    I was humbled to listen to some really smart people dedicated to helping some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the world. I’m a real fan of Sal Khan and the Khan Academy for instance. And he was there.
    I left feeling very hopeful, even though the mission is a daunting one. We need you to get involved. Education is ground zero for most of the challenges we face around the world.
    Visit the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) website if you want to learn more about the work of this amazing family (they also brought their youngest daughter…she is only two months!).
    #Education starts with a commitment to the girl child.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Isaac Mohamed writes,

    Great innovation! Doc. What should we be expecting the VR to deliver to us as ME owners?

    My reply,
    Just like the Internet or mobile phones have touched everything we do. AR, VR, AI, are technologies that will profoundly affect everything we do. We are currently just dabbling at the edges of these extraordinary new technologies.
    The key for you and I, is to start learning and following these developments, asking:
    “What does this mean for my business?
    What opportunities does it present me with?”

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    As I sat at the airport waiting to travel from LA to New York, I spotted an American guy reading a Chinese text with his mobile phone camera. Curious I asked him if he knew Chinese:
    He told me that he did not know any Chinese but had just returned from Shanghai, and had used The Google Translation App to get around:
    He downloaded the App, and would simply take pictures of street signs and menus in restaurants, and it would translate for him.
    “Show me, please!”
    And so he did.
    Now someone [smart and geekie] will say to me:
    “You mean you did not know you could do that?!”

    First of all I don’t know everything, but most importantly I know now, because I did not pretend to know everything.

    Everyday I learn really cool things, even from total strangers. Years ago I watched a guy talking to Siri in a restaurant, and asked him to show me how it works.

    My fifteen year old daughter is one of my best teachers because she is a “native” of these technologies.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Rodger writes,

    You don’t really have to take a picture.
    It can translate in real time when you click the camera icon and point your camera to the text you want to translate.
    This is what we use to understand Japanese text on car radios on exjapan vehicles.

    My reply,
    That is exactly how he was doing it!

    And here you are making money using this technology. An early [rudimentary] phase of “augmented Intelligence”. Within a few years all of us will speak to each other in our native tongues whilst Siri and Alexis does simultaneous translation through a blue tooth link….oops already here?!
    Got to try it, then! Can someone help me?!

    These things are so exciting…an endless world of entrepreneurial opportunities.
    Imagine what you can do with this stuff, as an entrepreneur?
    This is exactly how the guys who created Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and others created their giant companies. …and you can too!

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reading all your comments on this post almost brought me to tears:
    You guys are beginning to get it, and you are also reassuring me that our future is bright…in your hands.
    Well done.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Breaking News on Kwese:

    1. KTN News of Kenya now continental on Kwese. This is great news for Kenyans who are outside Kenya. You can use your decoder or the Kwese App.

    2. Our new family entertainment channel:
    Kwese Family will go on air on 31st October. This is one of our really big channels that has been under development for two years.

    3. 4x Fox channels [including Nat Geo], Ezekiel TV, God TV, E!, HIT TV, DayStar Tv, are just some of the great channels coming on air in a matter of two weeks.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Joint Venture with Vice Media to create Kwese Vice:
    This week we announced the launch of a joint venture called Kwese Vice, which was struck when I was in Hollywood last week.
    The new platform will go live in early 2018. It will be huge!
    Here is a link if you want to learn more:

    I promised to take the game to a new level. We are just getting started!

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #NBA basketball on Kwese TV will TIP Off tonight!
    We are showing both games live, and we will broadcast every game this season…Only on Kwese Channels.

    Just remember to get up for work and school tomorrow!

    Otherwise enjoy!
    Remember you need a decoder on Kwese or Canal Plus (our partner in Francophone countries).

    • Gaillard Hale

      We need to find a solution to the antecedent causes(bad tooth) first ,then the symptomatic causes (diet in diet- dead cow) will not even exist.-The Lion Story

  15. Amos Medeck

    Hellow Mr Masiyiwa
    My name is Amos Medeck founder of ROSTECH INC LTD a company registered in Tanzania. My company operate a swahili website for sports and Entertainment. i have few thoughts concerning with KWESE TV especially KWESE play you promised to launch.
    Question 1:.70% of people who live in African towns are tenants,not all of them are aware or can manage to pay for fiber optic cable installation what are your plan C to equalize all majority can get Kwese Play?
    MY COMPANY: We have developed a new product that is cost less that can make KWESE PLAY more attractive to everyone.
    When you came to Dar es Salaam i promised to represent my new product and failed i only saw you at the stage and miss the opportunity. please sir make an invitation so i can come to represent it whether Kenya or Uganda during town hall meetings.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    When Netflix launched its services there were people who declared openly that it could not survive because it did not have rights to major sports rights like NBA, and NFL, America’s biggest sports.
    How could they challenge giant corporations that had been around for decades and had millions of customers and billions in the bank?

    Today Netflix is worth $85bn. It is twice the size of Direct TV the largest satellite broadcasting TV network in the US.

    The most successful entrepreneurs, are successful because they understand this simple observation.
    #What do you see?

  17. Gaillard Hale

    Netflix found a way that create more value for its customer than its competitor. They aimed to be better than what was believed to be the best

  18. John Kiggundu

    I’m going to start a “book club” whose main focus will be to discuss your blogposts with a few peers of mine.
    We shall comb through your entire blog and share the lessons that we would have gleaned.
    Importantly, we shall look for “action points” that we can implement right away.
    I thank you for taking the time to share your views and knowledge with the rest of the world.
    I am an entrepreneur.


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