Is that a parrot on your shoulder?

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Is that a parrot on your shoulder?

Helen Mac Donald was talking about her latest book ‘H is for Hawk’ on the radio yesterday and she told a story of her meeting a man walking in the city with a parrot on his shoulder. Because she was so fascinated with birds she asked the man ‘why do you have a parrot on your shoulder?’ His answer was quite surprising! “Because I am shy”.

“If you are so shy, why do you draw attention to yourself in such a way?” she asked.

“Because people are interested in the parrot, not in me”.

I think you can already sense where I am headed here…, could this story not also be true for ourselves and our business leaders?  We all have parrots (the topics of our influence and power) and people come to see us, primarily, because of our parrot. The important thing for me in leadership and the power to influence, is to not rely too much on our parrots but to ensure we have our own stories; to be wholesome and authentic so that people engage with us, while talking about our parrots!

Have a good week,


2016-10-07T09:57:16+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

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