Eddie Serio: “Leadership is not sitting back, telling others what to do; Leadership is jumping in the middle during the toughest moments, working towards solutions together”
Leadership is not sitting back, telling others what to do. Leadership is jumping in the middle during the toughest moments, working towards solutions and leading the team together, no matter what. Other beings depend on us.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Eddie Serio. Eddie is the leader of Black Jaguar-White Tiger. Through his passion, human investment in animals, resilience and die-hard community, Eddie has successfully built the non-profit organization BJWT. BJWT works towards rescuing wild animals from horrific circumstances, protecting endangered populations, and showing how humans and animals can interact on this planet that we all share.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It was being at the right place at the right time. I never go to Monterrey, Mexico, but that time I went to visit and little did I know, I was walking into what my future would hold. I found out that Cielo, a Black Jaguar, was going to be sold to a pet store. Unfortunately, their plan was to use the young Jaguar as a prop for photos. So, I listened to my gut. I rescued her and that started it all for us…
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Well, besides the fact that I live with 400 Lions, Tigers, Jaguars and Leopards, we have had other remarkable beings in our presence. I am honored that two Presidents of Mexico have visited us, and the Rolling Stones were in my living room. I have great respect for them, and they in turn have great respect for what Black Jaguar-White Tiger does every day.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
This wasn’t exactly hilarious in the moment, but I can look back now and say it certainly made things livelier…
I had already rescued around 50 Big Felines and had over 2 million followers on Instagram. However, my permit’s final approval from the Government hadn’t yet arrived at the time. My rescues were legal but the permit to keep them was not in place yet. I’m not sure if some are aware, but everything in Mexico takes an extremely long time…ages. Let’s just say I was a little stressed for a couple of weeks until it finally arrived. I was so grateful when it did 😊
Can you describe how your organization is making a significant social impact?
Absolutely, by saturating people’s minds and hearts, showing as much as we can of these beautiful and magical beings. BJWT has shared with the world the intimate side of Lions and Tigers. How they play, how intelligent they are, how social they are, and how they too thrive when loved and respected. Through passion, human investment in animals, and our die-hard community, we have successfully built the our organization. We show their unique personalities and when taken out of horrific conditions and given a chance to flourish, how beautiful, affectionate and magical these creatures really are. We are working towards rescuing our “kids” from disgraceful circumstances, protecting endangered populations, and showing how humans and animals can interact on this planet that we all share.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
There are several ways society can help with our mission. Legislators need to put an end to harsh breeding facilities. Do you know a citizen or tourist of Mexico can buy a wild animal for as little as $2,000? This results in uninformed, misguided people to own a wild animal. When they become too large and unmanageable, they are left to live in abysmal and unsafe living conditions. They are often malnourished, riddled with skin infections and fighting for their lives when we rescue them.
We would also love to see a special division of the military be assigned to protect national parks and reserves.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
I always say that everyone working for BJWT is signed under “The Rambo Contract.” We don’t complain, we don’t get defeated, we solve issues. A Lion doesn’t care if the wire transfer didn’t hit the account, he or she expects food so we have to provide it. If we have to smile to make things happen, we smile. If we have to cry, we cry. If we have to fight, we fight. Only the outcome is important, and our goal is to provide our rescues with a life full of dignity. Leadership is not sitting back, telling others what to do. Leadership is jumping in the middle during the toughest moments, working towards solutions and leading the team together, no matter what. Other beings depend on us.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
This is not a path that’s been taken by many, so my true answer is, nothing. I have trusted my own instincts along this unique journey so I only follow my heart, wherever it may take me. So far it’s taken me to my “kids” and they are my world. I can only hope it takes me to future lives that desperately need saving. I know my purpose and passion is because of them, and for them.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
The movement that I wish to continue is inspiring people. I believe in what our organization does. BJWT knows with the amount of awareness we’re raising we can help put an end to animal cruelty, save more angels, and protect these species for generations to come. We hope to build a world where all animals can live without fear.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You are what you think. With your thoughts you make the world” — — Gautam Buddha
People love talking about the mind but most people don’t understand how powerful it actually is. Everything that we experience is created by us, but when things materialize, we already forgot about them. I don’t forget, so I just wait for things to appear…
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Our Website: https://blackjaguarwhitetiger.org/
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!