How a Seagull Showed Me “How to” Succeed by Merging Creativity and Strategic Goals

Nature has a way of finding creative solutions for survival needs. Animals, plants, nature, use creativity combined with practical strategies in forming essential habits and tools in order to thrive in the web of life. Combining creativity and hard strategies is what a super business does to also thrive in its environment and grow. Why not find some clever “combos” in nature…in this case a Seagull, to show you a few business survival skills?

Why Is a Seagull a Great Teacher?

A Seagull spends its time looking for food, eating food, stealing food from other seagulls and sea birds, then resting, nesting, and beginning again the search for food each day. One of the food seagulls love is the lowly mollusk (mussels, clams, etc) clinging to seaside rocks or covered in the rising and falling tidal sands of the ocean and rivers. The gull lands on a slippery rock and begins to poke about, loosen, or dig up the yummy mollusks. When the seagull finally has the “prize” in its mouth, it immediately flies into the air with most likely a few other gulls in pursuit.

You see this as you are walking along the “strand” on the sidewalk, jetty path, the gull now is about 10 feet over your head above your “hard” walkway. Bam…the seagull releases the mollusk and as it hits the ground it shatters open, revealing the sweet meaty food inside (that’s how shells get on beach paths!). The gull comes down, grabs the food “sans shell” and takes it to a safe place to gobble it down.

The Seagull has a proven plan of action and knows that the shell WILL be opened after the perfectly delivered drop on the hard pathway.


It’s a Learning Experience… Give Yourself Some Time to Try Different Approaches!

Gulls do not come out of their eggs with instruction manuals on how to open a seashell. Using just their “hard strategies” or tools, their beaks, their “original hard tool equipment” is much less effective than combining the creative flight patterns of mollusk bombing. You see the younger gulls trying to steal the older gull’s food after giving up opening shells with their beaks, or not being proficient in correct height and speed to be master of shell “bombing”. They experiment, watch others, and finally combine some creative moves to succeed.

Just like we find our way in business. We follow what others have done, try some new stuff, fail, mimic, then find our sweet spots fueled by our confidence, creativity, skill sets. Most important, try a lot of different new creative approaches that marry hard strategies and goals with some unique moves, streamlining, and outside of the box thinking process’. You will come up with what is most effective and profitable by experimenting a bit.

Sometimes the Shell Bounces, Does Not Open, or Is Stolen by Competition

If the ground is uneven or sloped, the height doesn’t correct, or the speed of flight not up to snuff or even if technique is good, the shell may not open when “bombed”. Worse yet, another gull can swoop in and steal the now openly available food after another has done all the hard work. Bummer.

A lot like business. Many great ideas are never “opened”, many partnerships fail due to doing things the “way they are always done”, or others leaving the true genius behind taking total credit, or to the extreme of others stealing ideas and creating their own profits.

An important outcome from the Seagull and the mollusk is that if that gull “fails”, it sits for a bit, scans the immediate environment, then swoops back down onto the water’s edge and starts digging at its next juicy meal. Built in survival skills: the ability to be in the “present”, letting go of “what happened”, and the continued determination to succeed to feed itself and its young. Just like a passionate business owner uses both hard determined strategies along with creative inspiration, always working in the present moment providing ways to profit and nurture their business and people.

How Can You Show Your Team the Marriage of Creativity and Hard Strategy?

The “wise” ones; the ones who bring others along, show others how to mix and mingle hard strategy goals with creative thinking and heart-felt passion. Visual quick sketches illustrate your focus points, maneuvers, process, and plan, offer a map of “how tos” for others. Literally draw your ideas out, bring your knowledge to others with visual mapping or the quick sketch. Get everyone on the same trajectory, speed, creativity, to crack open new success and growth! Give me a call and let’s talk about drawing up your business plans.

Be wise, thrive (like the gulls), show and tell the tale of your success when you combine “heart” and mind strategy to feed your business growth!

And now, a word from my “sponsor”: nature! I am grateful for all my docent hours spent on conservancy lands, surrounding me with infinite examples of nature’s creativity and tools to borrow from. Thanks for keeping open spaces “open” and protected for all to enjoy and find nourishment!

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