As a metaphor for the creative leader, the Malleefowl offers interesting comparisons. Working persistently to build the right culture and then to keep the right "temperature" for teams and individuals to flourish are key roles of a team leader. Letting creative ideas hatch on their own and recognizing that not all will survive are part of the creative process.
Metaphors are helpful in contrasts that don't work as well. The life of the Malleefowl is a lonely one, in addition to a hard one. They take little nourishment and they are threatened with extinction. Hopefully that's not your story as a creative leader?
In May, 2009, in addition to managing the change in time zones (12 hours time difference between Perth and Boston), I found myself navigating a car, driving on the other side of the road down to Ongerup, Western Australia. Ongerup is a farming township of 120 residents located approximately 400 km south east of Perth, where the Malleefowl Preservation Group (MPG) is headquartered. After a lovely drive, I was treated to three wonderful days with two of the MPG's key players, Susanne and Alan Dennings. Alan is now Chairperson of the Management Committee and Susanne is project coordinator for the group.
Since Ongerup is also the home of the Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre, I also got to visit the Centre and to meet Khoma, the male Malleefowl resident at the Centre. And thanks to Susanne, I was also able to visit a Malleefowl mound and see several of these amazing birds in the wild.
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