For Impact


Lions, Mice, Antelopes & Women

On Prospects | | Tom Suddes

Note: I’m posting a series of nuggets on ‘women and philanthropy’ so some of these are from previous years that I want to bring to the top of the pile. — below from 2007.

One of the most important reasons we’re trying to IDENTIFY and PRIORITIZE our best prospects is so that we can FOCUS on the very TOP.

Here’s a wonderful story about LIONS, MICE & ANTELOPES to help you understand this principle/concept of RETURN-ON-ENERGY.

A lion can actually capture, kill and eat a field mouse.

However, it turns out that the ENERGY to do that is greater than the caloric content of the mouse.

If a lion spent his whole day hunting and eating field mice … it would slowly starve itself to death!

A lion cannot live on mice. Lions need antelopes. Antelopes are BIG. While they take more speed and strength to capture and kill… once killed, they provide a huge feast for a lion and its pride.

A lion can live a long and happy life on a diet of antelope.

It will die “chasing mice”.

If you’re spending all of your time and energy going after “field mice”, your short-term reward is a feeling of ‘ACTIVITY’, and maybe even ‘ACCOMPLISHMENT’.

However, in the long run, you’re going to die .

(This is a story. It’s meant to convey an idea. Don’t take the whole “kill” or “antelope” thing too literally.)

The lesson as it relates to QUALIFIED PROSPECTS is about spending your day CHASING MICE or HUNTING ANTELOPE.

  • Do we even know the difference?
  • Do we know who our antelope are?
  • Are we going to continue doing ‘special events’ that aren’t ‘special’, aren’t ‘events’ and are primarily focused on ‘MICE’?


Special Note: I told this story to a large training group a few days ago. A lady came up and told me that while the story was very meaningful and that she “got it”… the “facts” were wrong! And she was right!

The LION doesn’t really hunt for anything (mice or antelopes). He lays around under the ‘lion tree’ waiting for a ‘lion beer’ or watching ‘lion TV’!!!

The LIONESS does all the hunting for the family!

As always, WOMEN RULE!