Byron's Babbles

Leading From The Optimal Height

Posted in Brown Pelican, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Pelican, Strategic Planning by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on December 10, 2020

The Brown Pelican is one of my favorite birds. In fact I have blogged about them before in Pelican Leadership Lessons. The Brown Pelican will target and dive for food from heights of 60-65 feet. They have also learned that a steep dive angle, between 60 and 90 degrees, reduces aiming errors caused by water surface refraction. In doing some research I found that Brown Pelicans “learn” this behavior because adults are better marksmen than young birds.

This lesson and example from the Pelican reminded me that I must get myself to the optimal height to see the detail needed, but yet still get the big picture. This really becomes a question of strategic insight. An insight is the combination of two or more pieces of information or data in a unique way that leads to the creation of new value. Strategic thinking, then, is the ability to generate insights that lead to competitive advantage.

One of the leadership lessons I have learned over time is how we need to step into the balcony, as leaders, and watch the dance above all the chaos and noise. But, like the Brown Pelican, we must find the optimal height for seeing our targets and diving in to support our teams.