Nadia Pace / LinkedIn

Non-Executive Director and Executive Mentor Nadia Pace on Friday highlighted the key similarities between the rules of engagement within the savannah’s ecosystem, and that of the business environment.

Ms Pace is vastly experienced in the business world, with a distinguished career that spans over 20 years. She describes herself as a “strong advocate for innovation and business transformation”, and says that she is passionate about mentoring business leaders and companies as they navigate through the different challenges that the business world brings. Additionally, she is also a Non-Executive Director at various firms.

Ms Pace’s thoughts came as she was reflecting on her time in South Africa, during which she managed to learn a number of unexpected lessons while exploring the diverse wildlife the savannah has to offer.

Elephants - Nadia Pace LinkedIn
Some of the elephants Nadia Pace saw during her trip / LinkedIn

Firstly, she highlighted the importance of “the art of listening.”

“As we quietly observed a herd of elephants going about their day, one of the elephants up ahead began to make his voice heard, and our driver rushed the car out of the way. When I asked the driver how he knew what to do, he said: ‘It’s simple. All you have to do is listen’,” Ms Pace said.

Relating this to the business environment, she explained that active listening is “equally vital”, something she has also witnessed during her mentoring sessions.

“By understanding cues from our colleagues and stakeholders, we avoid jumping to conclusions. Enhancing our listening skills to articulate thoughtful questions will lead to strong professional bonds,” she added.

Additionally, Ms Pace also stressed the value of setting boundaries between one another, a lesson she learnt as another herd of elephants approached their vehicle, stopping them on their journey. During that moment, it became immediately evident to them that clear boundaries are “crucial.”

“Similarly, in our professional space, setting boundaries ensures respect, alignment, and consistent expectations. Let’s redefine our limits to foster a more collaborative environment,” she pointed out.

Lastly, Ms Pace also brought to attention the importance for one to remain observant of what is happening around them.

She mainly drew this conclusion from having witnessed their spotter’s observation skills at the edge of the vehicle, always being aware of what is going on.

Similar to the spotter’s skills, business leaders need to maintain a “peripheral view” within the organisational context.

“Being aware of industry changes, shareholder expectations, and internal competencies allows us to assess potential impacts on performance and sustainability,” Ms Pace added.

Featured Image:

Non-Executive Director and Executive Mentor Nadia Pace / LinkedIn


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