Leadership through the lens of … ducks

Part of the Canadians’ identity is to own a cottage up north (or down south). I’m more of a city type and never have an attempt to live in a cottage for more than three days, let alone to own one. But, this doesn’t prevent us from enjoying all the beauties that the Canadian Mother Nature can offer to us.

Off we go… living in a resort by Lake Joseph for a quiet vacation time this week.

A good company (the hubby of course) by my side, a stunning lake view in front and a great book in hand. That’s pretty much all I crave for during this vacation.

And always, nature like to throw a little something else at you, and there they are… a flock of ducks! The mama duck and a group of ducklings living close to our villa become our new friends.

As I lie on the beach chair watching them gathering together, swimming away in a row, never losing sight of the potential danger, yet thoroughly, enjoying their ducky lifestyle, I have nothing but admiration towards the leadership traits that the mama duck is demonstrating.

    She leads the way. Every morning when the duck flock wakes up and starts their daily routine, it’s always the mama duck swimming at the front to set the pace for the ducklings. Never a moment that she lets lose and lets go the responsibility of directing her troop. Her head is up. She appears calm and effortless when gliding along the surface of the water, but she is indeed paddling hard under the water to get the little army to where they need to go.
    She anticipates and reacts fast. Whenever there is an usual sound like the dog barking at the dock, or a stone being thrown into the the quiet water, the mama duck is always the first one to react and immediately open her thick and strong wings to protect the little ones. She is always on high alert. The issues and crisis oriented mindset is truly something that us communicators could learn from.
    She steps back. So, the hubby put out some digestive crackers to feed the ducks. This time, the mama duck is not the first one to lead, instead, she steps back and let the ducklings to get the food first, while watching the surroundings.
    She nurtures. Every morning, the mama duck will lead her pack to swim, to walk, to find food and to enjoy life as a family. The ducklings are growing from the little ones to somewhat more steady and masculine just within the matter of days. Soon, they will be on their own controlling their own destiny.

If there is one thing that I can take back with me to the city in addition to the relaxed mind, it’s the so-called Servant Leadership:

Putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform as highly as possible.

Enjoy summer, my fiends!


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