The prey-predator relationship between a seal and killer whale shares an important management message to the corporate people.
The seal can live both in water and land. When there is any threat, seal can easily move to land or from land to sea. On the other hand, the killer whale is strictly a marine animal and cannot live in land or can invade it, even for a short while. Further their massive body size limits them to be in deep sea region to have buoyancy.
Despite seal having such dual advantage, it easily and ‘so naturally’ fall prey to killer whale. One may wonder, how?
Because of the obligate aquatic mode of life, the killer whale knows that it have to find its prey only from sea.
On the other hand, the seal can either come to land or can jump into water. The dual advantage of the seal appears to have made the life of the animal in fact, more vulnerable.
When one operates with two or more options, naturally the ability to sense the risk factors is likely to be less. Either such ability may inbuilt some element of ‘carelessness’ or due to nature’s intent not to give absolute success to any species just because of such multiple options/abilities. But the situation is not the same for killer whale.
Another reason also we need to consider. The seal can come to land or can be in the water, only to escape from its predator. But it has to go to water to find its food, mainly the fishes, as it cannot find its food from land.
This necessity of the seal may be known to killer whale.
The killer whales appear to be working with absolute knowledge about the seal and are also highly focused. Such focus is likely to be absent in seal, may be because of their dual advantage.
The management message is that, advantage or your additional status need not be protective and instead, they can make you more vulnerable.
Most of the corporate leaders often fall to ‘seal syndrome’ because of their position or decision making power. They never realize that the same uniqueness can easily make them vulnerable instead of giving any extra advantage.
The reason being, vulnerability/danger never discriminate a species whether it has any uniqueness/specialties or not.
Whether you are smart or not and whether you carry the requisite knowledge for success or not only determine your success.
Many people feel sullen because they are not the best preferred people by their bosses in corporate. Never think an advantage as an advantage but how you recognize your advantages and disadvantages, act accordingly and use such wisdom only determines your success.
Look at the adaptive advantages of a seal. In fact its advantages are only limiting its intelligence. On the other hand, limitations of a killer whale only make it intelligent.
Let your knowledge of knowing determine your success and not your unique positions or advantages.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai
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