The Way of the Pelican

Posted on February 29, 2012

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As you may know if you read any of last week’s posts I just spent a week laying on the beach in the Dominican Republic.

One of the most fascinating things I saw, aside from a proliferation of really bad swim suit choices, were a number of pelicans who hung out on the beach.

These guys were great.

They would use the wind coming off the ocean to hover nearly still a good 30 feet above  the water and then, when they spotted food, they would turn their body and dive headfirst into the water to scoop it up into their huge beaks.

In between dive bombing the water they would float serenely on top of the ocean, riding over the waves but never being moved by the tide. You would see them rise up on the crest of a wave then disappear behind it into the ensuing trough but they always stayed in the same place.

There is a lot to be learned from the pelicans.

When they are looking for food they hover over the water and focus intently. They are looking for that one piece of information that’s important to them. Then, when they find it, they commit whole heartedly and without hesitation to their headfirst dive into the water to get it.

If more airtalent kept their focus during show prep on finding that one truly great piece of information and then, when they find it, would commit to diving headlong into it writing great bits that require more work than just copying the article onto their daily prep sheet, radio would be much more entertaining.

Hosts can also learn from the way pelicans are able to ride the waves but stay in one spot on the water in between hunting forays.

Talent worry about way too many things at the station that buffet them all about; one bad caller, something a sales person said or the PD’s door being shut can often send a talent way off course.

Next time you start feeling that way remember the pelican. Don’t worry. Just ride the waves and be consistent.

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