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Lessons from NatureꟷDeer Watching


bradgphilbrick@gmail.com

Sitting at my desk this early morning, the antics of four young deer grabbed my attention.  The foursome consisted of two twin does only a year old.  I know that as I continue to watch them grow since I first saw them with their mother freckled with their white spots.

Two young bucks were chasing the does.  The one was small with only two points on his little antlers.  The other buck was much larger in size and showed off his antler of six points.  I guess from what I know of deer that they were about two and five years old.

Watching them, I could not keep from reflecting.  Is there a lesson here to be learned about behavior?

The young buck had his way with the “young ladies” first.  He spent his energy chasing both of them.  The does separate as if to taunt and frustrate the small buck.  The does take turns letting him get real close, almost nose to nose.  Then suddenly the doe would scamper off.  The young buck would chase only briefly.  He would stand there as if he was forlorn.  Then he chased after the other doe.  She quickly ran off jumping over the neighbor’s chain link fence, then stood and watched her male counterpart on the chase.  He never did jump the fence.  He just looked at her too, not continuing the game.

The older buck now had his turn.  He chased after only one.  He easily caught the young female and showed that he was superior.  He let her go, and the young doe quickly ran off my yard and over to the lake.  The other doe watched the scene and then hightailed it for the lake to join her sister.

The two bucks stayed in my yard for a while grazing and enjoying acorns from my white oak tree.  Finally, they too left my property, off to graze elsewhere and then to go to sleep for the day.

So the lessons learned?  The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan reminded me of the Russian proverb I read at the beginning of their book.  If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.  The older buck surely knew to go after only one doe.  As Gary and Jay say in their best-selling book, focus on one thing for extraordinary results.

The young buck was quick to give up.  One lesson here is don’t abandon the chase, or give up on the hunt.  Do not give up on following your dreams and passion.

Then too, one could make a point that the older buck was attempting to teach the younger deer.  I could not help but think that I may have witnessed some form of a white-tailed male deer rights of passage.  He then showed the young boy how to make a successful chase after the futile attempts of the young buck.

As on organizational leader are you showing the way?  Do you teach others how to lead and become leaders?  I hope that it is not your action to hoard your leadership experience and even become jealous of younger colleagues.  Work with them, teach them, show them the way.

If you are a “young buck” and you have the great fortune of working with a great leader, are you listening and observing them?  Are you gaining all the knowledge that you can from your colleagues and then are you working with your colleagues as a team for the success of your organization?  Do not give up on challenges.  Maintain a healthy and positive attitude.

One last thing, I guess it pays to be observant and enjoy the beauty of nature.  The four deer in my yard reminded me a lot of the right actions to be successful.  Take some time to reflect and observe.  Life is beautiful to see, but watching it can be top providers of lessons too.