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A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Fable about Creativity and Courage

A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Fable about Creativity and Courage

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A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Fable about Creativity and Courage

4.5/5 (3 оценки)
160 страниц
59 минут
5 янв. 2015 г.


This classic pioneering book provides keen insight into workplace diversity. With new tips, tools, and strategies for peacocks and penguins alike, your organization will flourish and take flight!
Through the story of Perry the Peacock and his fine feathered friends, authors BJ Gallagher and Warren H. Schmidt bring to life the challenges of birds of different feathers who struggle to be successful in the conformity-minded Land of Penguins. Their travails illuminate the challenges of creating a pluralistic corporate culture in which the talent, energy, and commitment of all employees are fully engaged.
People who have new ideas that differ from business as usual are often ignored or criticized for the very thing that makes them valuable: their originality and creativity. This unique book helps organizations break out of "penguin thinking” in order to tap into and leverage the creativity of diversity. Learn how to cultivate an organizational culture in which new ideas can flourish and innovation can take flight.
5 янв. 2015 г.

Об авторе

BJ Gallagher is a prolific author and popular speaker. She writes business books that educate and empower, women's books that enlighten and entertain, and gift books that inspire and inform. Whether her audience is corporate executives, working women, or college students, her message is “The Power of Positive DOING.” She motivates and teaches with empathy, understanding, and more than a little humor. BJ's international business best-seller, A Peacock in the Land of Penguins (Berrett-Koehler), has sold over 400,000 copies in 23 languages. It is THE best-selling diversity book in the world. Her other business books include: Leadership Secrets from Oz (Simple Truths), YES Lives in the Land of NO (Berrett-Koehler), The Best Way Out Is Always Through: The Power of Perseverence (Simple Truths); and The Power of Positive DOING (Simple Truths). Her self-help books include: Why Don’t I Do the Things I Know Are Good for Me? (Berkley) and It's Never Too Late to be What You Might Have Been (Viva Editions). Her spiritual books include: If God Is Your Co-Pilot, Switch Seats (Hampton Roads) and Being Buddha at Work (Berrett-Koehler). BJ has been featured on CBS Evening News, the Today Show, Fox News, PBS, CNN, and other television and radio programs. She is quoted almost weekly in various newspapers, women's magazines, and websites, including: O the Oprah magazine, Redbook, Woman's World, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Orlando Sentinel, Financial Times (U.K.), Guardian (U.K.), MSNBC.com, CareerBuilder.com, CNN.com, Forbes.com, among others. In addition to writing books, BJ also conducts seminars and delivers keynotes at conferences and professional meetings across the country. Her corporate clients include: US Veteran's Administration hospitals, Butterworth Hospital, IBM, Chevron, John Deere Credit Canada, Volkswagen, Farm Credit Services of America, Raytheon, US Department of Interior, Phoenix Newspapers Inc., the American Press Institute, Atlanta Journal Constitution, among others.

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A Peacock in the Land of Penguins - BJ Gallagher


Part I

The Story:

A Peacock in the Land of Penguins

There once was a time,

in the not so distant past,

when penguins ruled many lands

in the Sea of Organizations.

These penguins were not always wise,

they were not always popular,

but they were always in charge.

Most organizations looked the same:

Top executives

and managers

wore their distinctive penguin suits,

while worker birds

of many kinds

wore colors and outfits

that reflected their work

and their lifestyles.

Birds who aspired to move up

in their organizations

were encouraged to become

as penguin-like as possible —

to shorten their steps

and learn the penguin stride,

to wear penguin suits,

and follow

the example of their leaders.

Employee Development Departments


extensive training programs


appropriate penguin-like behavior.

The rules

and norms

were clear

from Day

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  • (5/5)
    I do enjoy when life lessons are conveyed through the use of storytelling. Gallagher has crafted a very clever fable focused on birds to communicate the importance of diversity and change within and across organizations. The personalities - Perry the Peacock, Edward the Eagle, Helen the Hawk, Mike the Mockingbird and Sara the Swan - all have unique personalities that make them "different" from the penguins. "Penguin" is the metaphor used throughout this book to refer to "anyone who is narrow-minded, tradition-bound, risk-averse, conservative, resistant to new ideas or different perspectives and tied to the way he or she has always done things.", making the Land of Penguins a hard place for the non-penguins to survive and thrive in. What I really like is that Gallagher points out that the Land of Opportunity - the opposite of the Land of Penguins - is a state of mind: The Land of Opportunity is an attitude. It is an openness to new ideas, a willingness to listen, an eagerness to learn, a desire to grow, and the flexibility to change. Originally published in 1995, the 20th anniversary edition copy I read contains a "Tips and Tools for Feathered Friends" where on can assess their "Penguinesque" personality and that while there is a little bit of Penguin in all of us, even Penguins can be taught how to fly (change), but the favorite part of this book for me is the special bonus parable that examines the rise of millennials and the corporate downsizing years where even those older Penguins were cut adrift and Perry the Peacock coming to the rescue with the following words of advice:
    • Business is all about relationships
    • Getting good at getting along is essential
    • Don't look for safety - look for opportunity
    • The key to surviving and thriving in turbulent times is feel your fear and get into action anyways
    • Don't judge a bird by its feathers - don't be preoccupied with visual diversity while overlooking invisible diversity
    • Don't let what you can't do stop you from what you can do
    • Focus on what you can do, not what you can't
    A wonderful, and very short book packed with excellent advice on how the non-penguins of the world can help the Penguins to create a Land of Opportunity where "we stop judging each other by superficial criteria and begin to see and appreciate everyone as uniquely talented, capable and valuable."
  • (3/5)
    I saw this book recommend on lkernagh's thread and decided to pick it up. I thought it would be useful at work, and I have used it in a couple of diversity and inclusion moments, and it has worked really well. It's about a company run by penguins; some of the penguins have traveled to other lands where different kinds of birds are having successes, so the penguins decide to bring one of them into their company - a peacock. It's a fairly simple fable of something I have definitely seen in some companies where I have worked. A good little story, nicely illustrated.
  • (5/5)
    Great Book. Small read with huge message! Simplicity at its best!