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The Science behind the Whale Done Approach

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This book brings to the parenting of children many behavioral principles and techniques that have succeeded spectacularly in training killer whales and other marine mammals, making it possible to work with these animals cooperatively. In fact, these principles and techniques have been so successful—even with the most feared predator in the ocean, the killer whale—that they have changed the entire field of marine mammal training. And they are now expanding to the training of many other animal groups, from other wild animals to domestic pets.

What has made these principles and techniques extraordinarily successful is that they are based on leading behavioral science research and universal discoveries about changing behavior. This research initially focused on changing human behavior—both child behavior and adult behavior—and it is very consistent with the knowledge about human behavior that Ken Blanchard draws on in his many books. For a good introduction to this behavioral science research, see Alan E. Kazdin, Behavior Modification in Applied Settings, sixth edition (Wadsworth, 2001).

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A Different Approach

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Over the next few weeks Debbie worked very hard to serve her team members, although she was not always sure how to do so. Even though many of her attempts seemed insignificant, she could sense a change in her approach to her leadership responsibility and possibly even a change in the team. She made a list of her experiences to share with Jeff at their next meeting.

One of her encounters was particularly noteworthy. Charles was still hanging on for dear life. His performance had improved only slightly since his first month. Debbie felt it would probably be only a few months before she would be forced to let him go. She decided to meet with Charles, ask some open-ended questions, and look for ways to serve him.

“Hello, Charles,” Debbie said as she walked into his office.

“To what do I owe this unexpected visit?” Charles asked, somewhat sarcastically.

“I wondered if we could talk for a few minutes.”

“Absolutely. What would you like to talk about?”

Debbie knew she had his full attention. “As we’ve discussed before, I’m concerned about your performance.”

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The Meeting

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The following Saturday, Debbie’s husband, John, invited her to play tennis with friends, but she bowed out so that she could work on the mentorship application.

“Thanks for the invite, honey, but I don’t want to miss the Monday deadline on this paperwork,” she said. The application contained all the usual demographic questions but didn’t stop there. There were quite a few personal questions and several unexpectedly challenging ones about why she wanted to be in the program. The final question was the one that made her really stop and think.

Debbie suspected that a good answer to this simple, straightforward question would help her get into the program. She worked for quite some time trying to articulate her reply. She felt she should know the answer because being a leader had long been her primary career objective. Yet she had never given the meaning of leadership much thought. Her first few attempts were, by her own standards, awkward or simplistic:

A leader is the person in charge.

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Medium 9781605098753

Creating Your Own Vision: Guidelines and Application

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We hope you enjoyed Full Steam Ahead! In this section weve summarized the core concepts and tools from the story to help you create your own vision. Whether you are looking to develop a personal vision, a team vision, or an organization-wide vision, these principles will apply.

Vision is knowing who you are, where youre going, and what will guide your journey.

Knowing who you are means being clear about your purpose. Where youre going is your picture of the future. What will guide your journey are your values.

Good leadership starts with vision; leadership is about going somewhere.

Vision helps you get focused, get energized, and get great results.

Vision keeps you going during times of adversity.

Yes. Vision can start anywhere. You dont have to wait for the rest of the company. If you are a team leader, you can help your team create a vision. Others in the company will begin to notice the sparkle on your team and will become curious. Meanwhile, lobby your boss and your peer group to create a vision as well. In other words, look 360 degrees—down, sideways, and up.

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Chapter Six Chucking the Binky: Ending Dependency on Comfort Items

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IT WAS SATURDAY and Amy had to work, so she and Matt decided that he would bring Josh for a visit to SeaWorld. Josh’s eyes became as big as saucers when he encountered, up close, the huge black-and-white forms of the whales during their performance. After enjoying the show, Matt and Josh joined Amy backstage. Most of the staff had met Amy’s husband and child before, and they made a fuss over how much Josh had grown.

Amy asked Kim Lee if Matt and Josh could watch as she and her coach worked with Taat and her baby, Kagan, who was being trained toward weaning. When Amy fed Taat, the mother whale took some of the fish and gave it to her youngster. Kagan pushed the fish around, tasting it and spitting it out. Each time Josh saw the baby whale spit its food, he laughed and pointed.

“It looks like Kagan’s just playing with his food,” Matt said.

“That’s right,” Kim Lee said. “Baby whales start getting their teeth at around three months of age, which is the exact time that the mother whales start to offer the babies small fish. It will be a while before he’s fully weaned. At this point Taat gives him fish to play with. We also help her along, giving the baby fish to help him get used to them. As he gets older, he’ll start chewing on them and eventually will start swallowing them. Soon after that, he’ll be off his mama’s milk and eating on his own.”

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