Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lion Lights Learning

If you combine an idea with passion then you have the story of Richard Turere.  Richard was eleven years old when he decided to change the world around him.  Richard's family depends on the cattle herd for their lively hood.  Ranching can be a great way of life.  Being your own boss or working outside in the beautiful weather are just a few perks to taking care of cattle.  It does have it's challenges. Disease or drought can affect the herd and even the occasional lion can take away some of your stock.

Yes, you read it correctly, a lion.  You see Richard's family lives in Africa.  To be exact he lives in Kitengela.  Kitengela is south of Kenya's capital city of Nairobi.  Nairobi is the world's only capital city with a National Park.  Richard's family resides along the National Park.  Imagine a backdrop of zebras, elephants, and other wildlife roaming the savanna grass land and in the background is skyscrapers.  Quite the paradox of scenes but it's where Richard calls home.  For Richard's family losing cattle to lions is depleting the resources his family needs to survive.  The lion is literally a threat to their way of life.

Richard's Lion Lights Plan
Richard wasn't going to let the lions win.  In his own words, "I had to look after my dad's cows to make sure they were safe".  Since most of the lion attacks happened at night Richard discovered that the lions wouldn't venture into the cattle herd if they saw someone shining a flashlight around the herd.  For the lions where there was a light there was a ranch hand with a gun.  Richard devised a plan in his mind, wrote it down, and put it to work.  Through trial and error Richard's plan eventually worked.   As all great ideas do they catch on and other ranchers started using his plan.  As of today 75 families have used Richard's light system to ward off lions from their herd.

You might think the story ends here, but it does not.  Word traveled fast of his invention and efforts.  Eventually he caught the eye of one of Kenya's most prominent educational institution.  He now has a full scholarship to Brookline International School and one day wants to be a pilot and aircraft engineer. Why?  So he can fly over his father's herds and make sure they are safe from lions.

As a leader what ideas have you put into action?  Need a little passion to give your ideas life?  Then combine your ideas with something that you care about.  In the case for Richard it was his family.  What about you?  What is holding you back from putting your ideas into action?  What do you care about?  Combine them both and watch your ideas energized!  Never know you might light up the world around you!

You can read more about Richard's story from the link below.