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15885Article Submission: Resilient Leaders Learn from Everyone-including DOLPHINS!

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  • Bonnie Jo Davis
    Sep 7, 2012
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      Dear Publisher,

      In this e-mail you will find a client article for your review. All =
      details about the article and my client are included below.

      You have permission to publish this article in your ezine or on your web =
      site, free of charge, as long as the byline is included and the article =
      is used in its entirety. If you use the article you are required to =
      activate any links found in the article and the by-line. =20

      Thank you for this opportunity. Wishing you continued success with your =
      publication!

      The contact information for my client is:

      Eileen McDargh
      33465 Dosinia=20
      Dana Point, CA 92629 USA
      949-496-8640
      eileen@...
      http://www.eileenmcdargh.com

      PS - If you wish to be removed from future article submissions, reply to =
      this e-mail and put "remove" in the subject. You will be immediately =
      removed from my list.

      Best Regards,

      Bonnie Jo Davis
      Publications Coordinator
      http://www.DavisVirtualAssistance.com

      Article submission:
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      Title: Resilient Leaders Learn from Everyone-including DOLPHINS!


      Description: After visiting the Dolphin Research Center Eileen McDargh =
      became fascinated with the corollary between engagement for high =
      performance in order to create a resilient organizational life and =
      engagement and high performance in the watery world of the dolphin. =
      Read this article and discover what she learned.

      Keywords: Dolphin Research Center,Eileen McDargh,high =
      performance,resilient organizations,resilient =
      employees,leadership,management,leaders,managers

      Word Count: 1064

      Entire Article:

      Resilient Leaders Learn from Everyone-including DOLPHINS!


      Who can resist the constantly "smiling" face of a dolphin whose =
      intelligence and acrobatic skill have delighted humans for centuries? =
      Whether through the legends of sailors rescued by these marine mammals =
      or through frescoes found on the walls of ancient Minoan palaces, humans =
      continue to be intrigued by dolphins.=20

      I am no exception. Nor is my 13 year-old granddaughter Siena. Together, =
      we showed up at the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) where a colony of =
      Atlantic bottlenose dolphins call the lagoons of the Gulf of Mexico =
      home. Here, DRC researchers and trainers care for dolphins who have to =
      come to them because of injuries or because prior captivity deemed them =
      "non-releasable." The Center is a not-for-profit education and research =
      facility dedicated to promoting the coexistence between marine mammals =
      and humans and the environment we share. Through research and education, =
      we begin to understand the world of the dolphin and can study cognition, =
      physiology and husbandry.=20

      As a management consultant, I became fascinated with the corollary =
      between engagement for high performance in order to create a resilient =
      organizational life and engagement and high performance in the watery =
      world of the dolphin.

      To gain the trust and performance of dolphins as well as people, here =
      are five lessons we might all do well to remember:

      * Know everyone's name and something unique about each one.
      * Set everyone up for success.
      * Build skill levels.
      * Provide more stimulation for top performers.
      * Allow for fun and individuality.

      Lesson #1: Know everyone's name and something unique about each one. At =
      DRC, researchers tell dolphins apart by their coloring, their movements, =
      and call each by their name. A special shape on a stick is lowered in =
      the water and every dolphin knows which one belongs to him or her. =20

      In organizations, I've observed managers who do not know the names of =
      their employees, can't tell you one thing unique about them, and send =
      group messages that don't take individuality into account. This =
      anonymity is compounded in a virtual world. Sadly, that virtual world =
      becomes the fallback way of communicating even if the person is sitting =
      in the next cubicle.=20

      A great manager/leader knows that every virtual team must at least start =
      with a face-to-face meeting (or video face-to-face) and a personal =
      sharing of more than resume data. A great manager/leader finds ways to =
      highlight each person so they feel singularly recognized.

      Lesson #2: Set everyone up for success. At DRC, researchers and =
      trainers make sure that before asking a dolphin to do something "more", =
      they have allowed the dolphin to be successful in a current task. When =
      the new "request" is made, the trainer makes sure that not every element =
      is strange and so there's a modicum of comfort.

      In organizations, goals are sometimes changed before employees have a =
      chance to experience and celebrate success. The bouncing ball is never =
      caught. Frustration results. Likewise, when responding to the demands =
      of a changing business world, a great manager/leader makes sure that at =
      least some element of prior success is brought into play. For example, =
      Apple used the technology of the I-Phone to create and expand into the =
      world of the I-Pad.=20

      Lessons #3: Build skill levels. At DRC, researchers and trainers break =
      apart a task or a research project into smaller components and observe =
      dolphins while adding the next step only after seeing successful =
      completion of the first. Different dolphins also learn at different =
      rates.

      In organizations, great managers/leaders don't expect 100% proficiency =
      from the starting gate. Instead, they watch for building blocks of =
      performance. By observing and listening for such blocks, a =
      manager/leader also knows whether an employee can, in fact, do the =
      assigned task. That manager/leader must also know what is the time =
      frame for accomplishment. Not everyone is suited for specific tasks. =
      Pulling the plug too late can be as dangerous as pulling the plug too =
      soon!

      Lessons #4: Provide more stimulation for top performers. At DRC, some =
      of the dolphins were stronger and quicker than others. Dolphin Tanner =
      would become bored if not offered enough stimulation. He loves the =
      cognitive challenge of imitating while blindfolded with soft latex cups. =
      (International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 23,671-688). Without =
      stimulation and challenge, Tanner "checks out" of his work.

      Organizationally, humans are no different. Skilled performers become =
      bored and apathetic if not invited to explore what might be the next =
      growth opportunity. A great manager/leader watches for performers who =
      have "checked out". Increased stimulation might be just the answer.

      Lesson #5: Allow for fun and individuality. Dolphin Talon is a =
      grandchild of Flipper, one of the stars from the television show by the =
      same time. Talon literally squeals with excitement every time he makes =
      an incredibly high jump and puts an extra rotation into his flip. =
      Dolphin Calusa is a jokester, hiding the target poles so trainers have =
      to ask her to go find them. And Molly is my special "dolfriend." Yes, I =
      adopted this 50 year-old older marine mammal with scars from a former =
      life under her flippers. She is into accessorizing and has a collection =
      of colored scarves that people have brought her!=20

      When Siena gave Molly the command to "Bring me a gift," Molly came back =
      with an orange and red silk scarf over her snout. Siena was thrilled. =
      We learned this does not happen often. Molly has been known to suddenly =
      appear with a scarf over her dorsal, one on her nose, and another on her =
      flipper. And to this day, divers who inspect the lagoon have NO idea =
      where she hides her accessories!

      We are all like the dolphins, wanting to add some color, fun and =
      personality into our workday. A great manager/leader makes space for =
      humor, laughter, and originality of expression. In fact, it is the =
      laughter and spontaneity that keep researchers, trainers, and the many =
      volunteers at Dolphin Research Center coming back for more.=20

      As we drove back to Miami and our long flight back to California, Siena =
      and I realized we had laughed and learned. We watched with wonder. And =
      we knew that places like the Dolphin Research Center allowed us to also =
      embrace our own humanity.=20

      "The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to =
      be indifferent to them; that's the essence of humanity."=20

      - George Bernard Shaw

      =A9 2012, McDargh Communications. Publication rights granted to all =
      venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links =
      are made live.

      Eileen McDargh is a Hall of Fame professional speaker, management =
      consultant, resiliency expert and top thought-leader in leadership. =
      Visit The Resilient Spirit at http://www.eileenmcdargh.com to get her =
      free quarterly e-zine, read her blog and articles. Read the =
      testimonials from hundreds of satisfied clients from all over the globe =
      and hire her to keynote at your next meeting or facilitate your next =
      retreat.