Lessons from a few Hummingbirds

For the last three summers, I have had the opportunity to witness four hummingbird nests be built and hopefully eight baby birds take flight. I say, hopefully, because currently there are two eggs still developing. What a privilege! I still can’t believe how fortunate I am. So what could we possibly learn from hummingbirds? I think, quite a bit.

So, let’s begin with where they build their nest. The male bird builds the nest. It’s a team approach. Now, my back deck is covered, so it’s protected. Yes, I get a lot of wind, and it still blows, but it’s protected. I have these hanging lanterns with little white Christmas lights inside of them. (I don’t use them while I have nests.) Just like in business, we don’t go for the first thing that comes our way, the male bird tries out a few lanterns, before deciding on which one it wants. He may even, bring a few springs of nest building material and try out the lanterns. Once he decides, he gets busy, and re-uses the material from his potential sites for the ultimate site.

What I got from his trying a few lanterns out, was a little like trial and error. Yet, all of his gathering of nest material didn’t go to waste. Just like the information we gain, the experience we gather, is ultimately useful in our end decision. Here is another point, what we’ve done in the past, is useful, now, here, today.

It’s not wasted effort. Think of it as momentum, it helps propel us forward.

Okay, so now, Mama Hummingbird is sitting on the eggs. For a while. During this time, she needs to continue to feed herself, and maintain her strength, and at the same time, protect the nest. Life is multidimensional. We never really get to do, one thing at a time. She may be sitting on those eggs, keeping them warm, she’s also on the lookout for potential danger. While you are working on your business, or in your business, you also need to be doing some personal development.

Work on you, so that you can move forward, and combat whatever comes your way.

Once, those eggs hatch, it’s busy time. Feeding; constantly, protecting; ever on the lookout. If you are raising a family and have a business, or are working, there doesn’t seem to be downtime. That’s why preparation is so crucial.

Here is the tough love part. Pushing those baby hummingbirds out of the nest, and watching them fly away. You may be raising the children, and having to give them some independence, even though you may not feel they are ready. Or, you are allowing some team members to take some leadership. Nothing is guaranteed. Those baby birds may make it, they may not. Children may make some less than desirable decisions, team members may not meet expectations. All if it, is part of life and business.

Let’s look at how this looks like with Strength, Dignity, and Grace.

Strength: We don’t know the outcome, we do it anyway.

Dignity: We try different methods, course of action, decisions; and we deal with the consequences, without complaint.

Grace: We forgive ourselves for not being perfect, just like looking for another place to build a nest. Always, when necessary, forgive others in our process.

I’m waiting on the two eggs to hatch, while I wait, let me know about nests you’ve observed, and if these lessons were helpful to you!

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