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What Attenborough’s Blue Planet can teach you about having a successful career...

Watching Blue Planet 2 recently, I was amazed by the beauty and wonder of the oceans.  Also with the awesome things that were happening beneath the waves. Many of the creatures of the ocean were so smart too; there were many lessons in the way they live, work and play which we can learn from. Here are the 4 major lessons from Blue Planet … 

1 Be playful, have fun and enjoy what you do.

Watching the scenes of the dolphins surfing through for the waves, diving in and out was magical. The playful dolphins surf apparently for fun, just for the hell of it. We are at work from 9 - 5pm every day if we are lucky, enjoying ourselves adds so much richness to our lives. And when we love being at work, not only does it have a positive impact on our life it actually increases our productivity and performance massively.

Indeed, according to the book the Happiness Advantage ‘happiness gives your brain and your organisation the competitive edge’ It’s not when we are successful that we get to be happy, it’s the other ways around. It’s when we are most happy at work that we are most successful. Over 200 studies on nearly 275 000 people have found that happiness leads to success in nearly every area of our life, and in particular our jobs, careers & businesses. Finding the fun every day at work can pay dividends...

2 Be persistent

The persistence of the tusk fish was fascinating. They search for clams and when they find one they carry it in their mouth  and then start bashing it hard against a big rock. They keep going, as Attenborough said ‘it’s not easy if you don’t have hands‘ And finally the clam breaks open and the tusk fish gets it’s reward...

Earlier in my life when I was doing a property development in Knightsbridge I learned the value of persistence. Things quickly started to go wrong and when things go badly wrong in an area like that costs really skyrocket. The renovation works went not double or triple but 6 times over budget. The neighbours were difficult too, including one who would call the police and get them to come around when my builder started drilling (the police thought she was insane) That builder quickly walked off the job and it was hard work to get another one. Numerous other problems including the flat being flooded by Thames water when it was nearly done meant it took 7 months for the insurance money to come through so we could start again.  

This was a very tough time in my life. Through all the trial and tribulations, I persisted, I kept going, and in the end I got there. I had got the job done, and a beautiful job it was too. And I had a real feeling of pride and accomplishment in what I had achieved.  Where at work and in your career would being more persistent help you?

3 Work smart, be effective and efficient at work

It was mesmerising watching the orcas hunt herring on Blue Planet. They work in teams, calling to one another and herding the herring into smaller and smaller shoals, then swimming below them driving them closer to the surface of the waves. The orcas then use their secret weapon; they flip over and beat their tails with such force that the shock waves stun the herring so they can then feast on them…

Setting goals with a realistic time to complete, sticking to time, staying on one task and making real progress on it rather than jumping around doing several tasks and not getting very far can all help us work smart. What other things work for you?

4 Get Mentors

The dolphin’s high intelligence was also shown with adult dolphins teaching their calves a life lesson. They swim backwards and forward through the fronds of a rare plant on the bottom of the ocean, teaching their young how to be healthier by rubbing up against its anti-inflammatory fronds. 

I have had some great mentors in my life and they have made such a difference to my development and taught me many shortcuts. I now do the same with my clients, helping them find shortcuts and fast track their career. Find a mentor, get a career coach who can guide you and help you make the most of your career...

Happy Festive Season! 


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