During a recent drive in the african bush we were lucky enough to spot a pair of giant eagle owls. These owls are the largest owls in south africa and are regognisable by their bright pink eyelids. (Aren’t they gorgeous?) They are not easy to spot in the wild, but let’s see if you can identify corporate owls in your workplace.
In the West owls are seen as a symbol of wisdom. There is an image of the “wise old owl” that has it’s origin in ancient Greece. However in some African and other cultures, the owl is sometimes seen as an omen of death or darkness.
To spot the owls in your organisation, look for the team member who is a bit of a loner with an unique perspective and strong work ethic.
Owls are nocturnal animals and your corporate owl may very well do their best work outside of office hours. Owls really appreciate the benefits of flexi time. They like to come in a bit earlier or leave a bit later in order to be able to get their work done without distractions. Owls usually prefer to work independently, but are also able to share tasks. Interestingly, in the wild, owl couples share time equally to sit on their eggs to hatch the little owlets.
Corporate owls are often not interested in the emotional issues or dramas of the workplace, prefering to focus on facts rather than rumours or feelings. They are observant, have a sharp eye for detail. Because of their capacity to focus they can easily analyze complicated data and forecast tricky trends. Owls are able to rotate their heads 240 degrees! This gives them the unique capacity to see things from a completely different angle.
At work owls offer intelligent and creative contributions. Because of their keen observation skills they bring great insights, but often need to be encouraged to offer their views. They dont contribute readily in meetings. Where other animals may try to draw attention to their ideas, owls are never show offs.
Dealing with the owls
- Owls are far sighted. Use your owls in discussions about strategy. They will often communicate more openly in small meetings or one on one situations. If you are a talkative manager, you need to make sure that you are truly making the time to listen to your owl.
- Because of their great observation skills, owls may sometimes be able to warn you of potential problem areas before they arise. Be aware that their quiet wisdom can be a great asset.
- Offer owls the opportunity to work independently and according to their own time schedules. They will reward you with loyalty and commitment.
- Because of their unique combination of analytical capacity and creative insight, when given the opportunity, owls may bring brilliant new ideas. (What else would you expect from someone wearing such intense eye shadow?)
- Don’t expect them to become excited or emotional about issues at work. In time you will learn to appreciate their solid calm approach to even the most stressful situation.
As always I welcome your questions or comments about the animals you work with!