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Lessons from Penguins

It was a stunning day yesterday, and my wife and I decided to walk in Simonstown and surrounds.

A relatively short walk from the quaint town of Simons town will bring you to Boulders Beach. Here you may see the African Penguin (Also called the Jack ass penguin) in a protected environment.

They occur in colonies from Namibia through to Port Elizabeth, mostly on islands. Two colonies were established by penguins in the 1980’2on the mainland at Boulders Beach and at stony- point, Betty’s bay.

At Boulders Beach you may see these mostly gentle, sometimes comical birds up close and personal. (My wife got too close a while ago and was duly “pecked” for being out of order!)

I thought I would share 3 lessons one may learn from the African Penguin.

Firstly, these birds mate for life and are monogamous

That is a lesson to strengthen marriages. Yet, I wanted to broaden the lesson by pointing out that relationships are important to these birds.

Whether you are employed, unemployed self- employed or retired, I hope you will agree that one of the key factors that contribute to a person’s long term success is their ability to relate well to colleagues, clients and competitors.

Here are 3 quotes that encourage us to improve our relational skill….

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”– Dale Carnegie

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”– Albert Einstein

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”– Anthony Robbins

Secondly, Penguins are awkward on land, but agile in the water.

A flock of about 12 penguins were waddling across the beach at Boulders. It is easy to see why cartoons are made about these endearing creatures. They then headed into the water and changed to guided missiles! They can swim at up to 20kmh, and here their build makes huge sense.

The lesson I learnt here is that we all have strengths and capacity that when used appropriately, can turn us into “achieving machines”

It is when we play outside of our gifts and strengths that we may look awkward and truly round peg in square hole. A key then, is to have a clear grasp of your strengths, skills and capacity and purposely play to them.

Finally, the penguins we saw had fledglings. Nature conservation had gone to some lengths to provide a suitable environment for breeding and the chicks.

The lesson? Great ideas need a conducive environment to “hatch” and entrepreneurs can benefit big time from sourcing appropriate support in a nurturing environment. (Incubators and accelerators)

Isn’t it interesting to see what we can learn from nature? Here’s to your growth in the remaining months of this year.

Until next week

Steve

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