When there is commitment and a willingness to work, success is far more likely.
The water spreads out in vast streams and inlets as it covers the swamplands. Many call this place home. Hidden on an island in the middle of the swamp are two birds that have made their nest at the top of a pepper tree.
These birds are great blue herons. With their tall legs they can be spotted above the marshes standing still as statues. They are a beautiful and majestic sight.
Usually blue herons do not fly in large flocks, but prefer to remain in smaller groups. Only when it comes time for nesting do they gather together and create heronries far away and hidden from view. It is at this time that they pair off and form a cooperative working team that is remarkable.
Unlike most species, the male and female blue herons work together to build the nest. The one will gather sticks and the other will weave them into a future home. After the large sticks are used to form a flat base, both will gather moss, leaves, and grasses to line the nest. When they are sure it is ready, the female will lay the eggs and then both take turns keeping the eggs warm.
Even as the eggs hatch, both heron parents continue to care for the babies. At first they are too small to eat whole food, so each parent chews the food and then feeds it to the baby birds. This process continues until the young are about eight weeks old. As the young mature, the parents teach them to fly and catch fish. It is not until they leave the nest that the two adults end their partnership.
From the beginning the herons work together as a team. Each heron is willing to do whatever task is necessary to promote the success of its nest and brood. There is no quibbling about whether some jobs are beneath them. Neither is concerned about image or reputation. They don’t wait to find out what’s in it for them.
The same applies to us. The best and most successful teams are those filled with individual “true blue” members who possess these commendable qualities—eagerness to complete the task with no concern about status or position and no complaining about perceived fairness or treatment.
When there is commitment and willingness to work, success is far more likely. As the blue herons are true to each other in following through with their part, so can we as we follow their example and remain “true blue.”
Here are a few points for reflection:
- Think of the attitudes of your people regarding their work. Are they enthusiastic and cooperative? Or are they focused on their own needs and concerned about personal recognition and prominence?
Now think of your own attitude. Are you modeling “true blue” qualities for your team to follow?
- What can you change in your personal attitude and behavior to foster greater cooperation and enthusiasm among your team members?
- What can you change in the culture of your organization to encourage “true blue” qualities?