We need a fully developed skill set to overcome the challenges that come our way.
If you were transported one day by air to a secluded valley and left alone without a map or compass, would you be able to find your way home? For the average, untrained person this would be a very difficult task. For a pigeon it would be a piece of cake.
The homing pigeon has developed the ability to use multiple clues to help it find home. It is not dependent on just eyesight or smell. Nor is it luck or whimsical chance. By using every available element and all its senses, the homing pigeon consistently returns home.
Before beginning its journey, the pigeon notes the position of the sun or stars and orients itself to the direction of home. From tiny magnetic receptors located in its brain it can read the earth’s magnetic field and adjust its return flight accordingly. Through the detection of small changes in barometric pressure a pigeon can detect a change of altitude and protect itself from natural barricades. Its sense of smell is on full alert to help it detect the homeward path as it flies. An ability to detect the direction of polarized light helps the pigeon verify its location.
A final key is the pigeon’s awareness of infrasound. These are very low sound waves, generated by such things as mountains, oceans, and storms, that can travel great distances. They provide a system of patterns the pigeon can follow. Eyesight appears to play only a minor role. In a field test, a group of pigeons whose vision was obscured by frosted glasses were still able to return home. It is this remarkable combination of multiple senses and clues that give the homing pigeon its well-deserved name.
The homing pigeon does not rely on just one or two of its skills to solve its problem of getting home. Instead it uses every available resource, and with that marvelous combination, is able to reach its goal and return home. By constantly staying aware and keeping its senses on full alert it reaches its destination.
Too often, we rely on just one skill, or one method of problem solving no matter what challenge we face. Limiting ourselves like this can leave additional skills and other solutions undeveloped, overlooked, or ignored.
Over time, our strengths may actually cripple us because we fail to develop other available skills and methods for dealing with challenges, resolving issues, and overcoming crises.
A few tips:
- No doubt you are aware of some of your well- used strengths. You have lesser-used ones as well. Don’t neglect these assets.
Observe how you have a tendency to rely on one or two dominant methods for solving a problem. That will limit your effectiveness. Experiment with other skills to augment your tool kit.
- Become more adaptable and flexible in your leadership style. You will be better prepared for life’s uncertainties by expanding your capabilities.