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3 Leadership Lessons Learned From Sea Turtles

From the moment they’re hatched, sea turtles are hurled into the world to fend for themselves until they’re ready to fulfill their purpose.

They go through countless obstacles, but those obstacles actually toughen them up for the massive journey ahead of them.

Like the lifecycle of sea turtles, the life of each person is experienced through several stages of growth.

And while some of those stages may be difficult (or seemingly impossible) at times, they have the fantastic ability to mold you into a true leader.

With that in mind, let’s go over some of the leadership lessons you can learn from the journey of a sea turtle—more importantly, let’s find out how you can apply them to your personal development.

Lessons From a Sea Turtle That Can Help You Find Your Way

1. Step out of your comfort zone

When a sea turtle hatches, its first obstacle involves digging up through the sand in order to reach the surface.

The struggle doesn’t end there, however.

After that, the turtle hatchlings must crawl (slowly) through the sand toward the ocean.

Seems simple, right? Not really.

Unfortunately, during their trek to the sea, these tiny creatures are extremely vulnerable and must also avoid being attacked and eaten by predators.

Not only that, but a sea turtle must crawl by themselves toward the ocean without any help. If a bystander picks them up and places them in the ocean, they will lose their way.

Just like a sea turtle’s journey, a great leader must leave their comfort zone and fight through their vulnerabilities.  

Why is leaving your comfort zone so important?

Because it helps you:

  1. Take risks that will help you grow

  2. Be more open to new experiences

  3. Achieve goals you never thought you could accomplish

Challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to take small steps into the unknown. Sometimes you have to get a little lost in order to truly find your way.

2. Watch out for common dangers that will hinder your journey

As mentioned above, sea turtles are extremely vulnerable right from the start.

Because of the predators and other dangers they face on their way to the sea, only one hatchling in a thousand makes it to adulthood!

Luckily, your odds of growing into an effective leader are much higher.

But like the sea turtle, you will need to learn how to avoid common mistakes that will stunt your growth.

Here are a few things to avoid in order to become a great leader:

  1. Being a know-it-all. A strong leader doesn’t know everything. They continue to keep learning new things each day.

  2. Trying to make every decision. Making every decision makes you a micro-manager, which can put a strain on personal and professional relationships.  

  3. Not putting others first. There is no point in leading if your team doesn’t feel valued. Putting others first builds trust and a connection that will allow you to lead them effectively.

3. Always look for opportunities to grow

Great leaders are constantly learning and striving to improve themselves.

Here are a few leadership lessons that will help you grow and find your way:

Keep a positive attitude. Your attitude not only sets the tone for your day—it sets the tone for your team’s day as well. Sending out positive energy and maintaining good body language will keep your team feeling confident and ready to take on the world.

Be open. Being a closed book may keep an air of mystery around you during a first date, but it will not help you out as a leader. Being transparent, direct, and providing constructive feedback will help you earn the trust and respect of your team.

Get your hands a little dirty. Great leaders are often the best teammates. They don’t just bark orders and give feedback when something goes wrong; they put in the work and demonstrate best practices that will set their team up for success.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you may have more in common with sea turtles than you realized.

Once a sea turtle hatches, there’s a whole world of challenges out there.

But they crawl, fight, and persist for years to fulfill their purpose and find their way back to the beach—beginning a new cycle for future hatchlings.

And although things may seem difficult at times, it’s important to learn, grow, and step out of your comfort zone if you want to become a better leader and find your way through life.

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