Visionaries: Kivi Bernhard

Positive predatory thinking can lead to business success

Kivi Bernhard

Kivi Bernhard, CEO of Kivi International LLC, a multi-million-dollar loose diamond, wholesale, and distribution business based in Atlanta, GA, attributes much of his business success to studying the African leopard, the most successful predator on earth. 

“The leopard, ‘ingwe’ in Zulu, a solo, solitary hunter, void of outside resources to get its business done, came to propel me. That leopard was me, alone and isolated in a huge marketplace that needed another diamond dealer like a desert needs sand,” explains Bernhard.

Leopardology™, which is used in leading business schools across the United States, is Bernhard’s brainchild that is compiled of six pillars of positive predatory thinking. They are: 
1. Know What You Are. 
2. Study Your Market Territory. 
3. Study Your Competitor Predator. 
4. Study Your Prey. 
5. Hunt your hunt. 
6. Assess the risk-to-reward ratio and maximize client retention and profit.

On and off, he estimates he has spent close to a year in the bush. Lukas, a master bush tracker, is a close friend of his. He reminisces meeting Luckas and “Without introduction, he turned to me and, in a soft voice, said, ‘It is now five generations my family has lived in the bush. We have never heard of a leopard that wants to be a giraffe.’ Lukas had taught me a fundamental and critical truth of life and leadership. What he did not know was that this idea would become the cornerstone of a business keynote and that this concept would form the very premise of Leopardology and the art of Positive Predatory Thinking.”

Bernhard continues, “What is this need we have to continually seek to be something we are not? What is the source of this disease that has afflicted society so? The cardiologist wants to be a pilot, the pilot wants to be a professional golfer, the golfer wants to be the FedEx guy, who wants to be a CEO. By the way, the CEO wants to be a cardiologist.  This touches on something I often speak about. I call it ‘presentism.’ Just as it sounds, it is the ability to be absolutely present and engaged in your very own life. Imagine viscerally believing that you are built for success and have what you need to succeed, spending time with yourself, just as you are, in your perfection, without the desire or need to be something else or someone else and, enjoying it.”

Today, Bernhard shares Leopardology™with sales, leadership, and management teams all over the world and has keynoted conferences for many Fortune 500 companies. He can be reached at (404) 832-8250 or go to