5 Ways to Lead like the Blue Footed Booby
The first Bishop of Panama, Tomas de Berlanga, discovered the Galapagos Islands in 1535 by accident. He was on his way to Peru, but currents carried the ship to the home of the Blue Footed Booby. He wrote about the silly birds that, “… do not know how to flee and many were caught in hand.”
5 ways to lead like the Blue Footed Booby
#1. Put your best foot forward.
Boobies attract mates by showing off their feet. The deeper the blue, the more enticing the dance.
Identify your ‘blue foot’ quality and start strutting.
#2. Bow your head.
Head bowing is part of the dance. You stink if all you do is flaunt your feet. Humility accentuates strengths. Arrogance makes you irritating.
Strut your stuff, but remember you aren’t pretty all over.
- Cheer when others succeed.
- Enjoy other people’s strengths and talents.
- Say thank you a lot. You’re confused if you think you’re self-made.
#3. Give a gift.
Male Boobies often bring nesting gifts to potential mates. A few twigs or tufts of feathers go a long way.
Likability might not be necessary to lead, but it helps if you avoid being a jerk-hole.
- Like people if you want to be likable.
- How might you be generous today?
#4. Nod your head.
Rain clouds are good for gardens, but lousy for teams. Habitually negative people have dark-cloud relationships.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Peter Block wrote a book titled, “The Answer to How is Yes.” Be a can-do person.
Saying no is part of success, but there’s more to leading than throwing ice water on people.
#5. Work with others.
Blue Footed Boobies hunt in flocks.
Working alone might feel easier, but it’s short-sighted.
Working with others tests humility and expands capacity.
- Who can you help?
- Who might help you?
What quality of the Blue Footed Booby is most relevant to you today?
Image source: Sula nebouxii excisa (darwinfoundation.org)
…these kinds of clever, outside-the-box leadership analogies are always effective at catching my eye — and thereby causing me to take that extra moment to read & digest the messages. It sure beats the more pedantic approach to sharing leadership ideas! Well done, as always!
Thanks Gerry. Here’s to a successfully week. And maybe if we’re a little more like a Booby we’ll be better for it.
#1 lead with your best foot forward. I like the rationale big steps, shorts all way’s going forward. Followed by #2 Cheering for those who succeed, helping build our strengths and talents so there’s a flock working together in #5.
I am painting my feet blue today!
Get a gift and nod my head—-I can do that!
I love this line: Arrogance makes you irritating. Another good one Dan!
“The answer to how is yes!” I love this! I can’t wait to give that “yes” reply next time somebody on my team asks “how.” It’ll make them start answering their own question.