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Leadership from a different perspective – Dave Hill

Leadership from a different perspective – Dave Hill

Naked Leader Week – 134 (w/c Monday 12th December 2005)

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Leadership from a different perspective – Dave Hill


David has long been on my list of people to feature in Naked Leader Week, and the other morning, when it was really quiet and still, I thought of him.

This week I invite you to listen to the sounds around you – really, really listen. I first time I did this, the sounds I most noticed were the birds. To paraphrase my good friend René Carayol I gave those birds a damn good listening to!

And I realised that not all bird noises are the same! Now, this may be obvious to you, it was not to me.

Dave tells us:

All birds have five voices that are easy to identify.  Four are baseline voices when the bird is relaxed and feeling safe.  These are:

 Their song – all birds have a song they sing.  When they sing it they are marking the boundaries of their territory or attracting a mate or just being joyful.  Native Americans used to teach their children that when you stop a bird singing you are interrupting an action of worship.

  1. Their call.  Birds call out to their partners or other birds of their species to say ‘You OK?’ ‘Yes, I’m OK’, ‘Any danger?’, ‘Nope, all clear’ etc.
  2. Male aggression – this voice may sound like an alarm call but there is no danger around.  It is just two males strutting their stuff, showing off to their women and protecting their turf.  You will know it is male aggression because other birds will be singing or calling, which they would not do if real danger threatened.
  3. Feed me – the voices of hungry young birds are very similar to hungry young human beings.

 The fifth voice is the alarm call – the noise a bird makes when it is threatened.  Alarms calls are usually short, sharp and loud, and everything in nature is tuned into them.  As soon as you set off a bird’s alarm call every animal in the vicinity freezes, listens and then creeps away and hides.

 It takes about 20 minutes of you sitting quietly and still in nature for baseline behaviour to re-establish itself.  That means that some people will never ever experience baseline in nature.

Thank you Dave, for bringing me back to nature on a quite winter’s morning

With love and best wishes to you, and to those whose lives you touch




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