Call Me a Duck…I Don’t Mind

I created this photo collage with a stock photo. I added the chirpy snippet. The truth is…that most of the time, I don’t like chirpy. Don’t get me wrong, I like happy. I like funny and I like joyful. But chirpy? Not so much.

I really have to keep this side of me in check. If I were to roll my eyes at cheesy platitudes, I would definitely end up offending someone who finds them inspiring. You know all those “You can be successful” books. Yeah, I’m not a fan. And the posters? Please.
What I find very true are the quotes from Despair, Inc., like “LAZINESS: Success is a Journey, Not a Destination. So STOP Running.” {Note: This is not a sponsored post. But I will be sending a tweet out to the company to see if my praises deserve, I don’t know…a Not a Pat on the Back.}

If you’ve ever worked in an office where the culture is just a little too cultish, you probably get what I love about the quote above. I once worked for a company where we ended company meetings with a sort of mantra chant that started with “It’s a marathon not a sprint”…and so on.
I’m lucky that I love what I do and enjoy who I work for. I’ve worked for two companies in the past that I also really liked…but their staff meetings did sound a lot like “Go out there and win one for the Gipper!” A little much, right?
Let’s remember my personality is INFJ. I know I can’t be alone when my thoughts are “Please let me go back to work now.”
I’ve recently read a book…you’ve probably heard of it: Raving Fans. It was published in 1993 so I don’t know how I missed it. The subtitle is The Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service. Anyway, the book is still getting praises. Which, between you and me, I don’t get.
First of all, it’s told in allegory/parable form. I guess that was a thing in the ’90s. I find that if you can tell a good story in a parable it would make an even better one-page memo. But that’s just me.I have to be open to the fact that others may prefer the parable. So, okay, I get it.

But then I came across this: outrageous quote:

“Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.” {RAVING FANS}

That quote outrages me. Really, I’m not kidding.
And I am shocked that there are business blogs and books devoted to this idea: Duck= Bad; Eagle = Good.
What bothers me is that a person can write a motivational book and use an analogy that is so utterly wrong!
Ducks quacking is NOT complaining. Ducks are communal. Quacking is communication. You know? Feedback…Encouragement. Ducks are exactly what an empathetic company should aspire to be. Communal and caring enough to communicate.
By comparison, eagles are solitary and though beautiful and majestic, are predators. They hunt and feed on other animals.
In a business analogy, an eagle thrives by #1 Identifying animals over which they have significant advantages (sight and speed). #2 Seeking out the weaker animals. #3 Killing the cute little bunnies.
Though, I gotta say, I don’t think that’s good PR or customer service. So, if someone wants to call me a duck instead of an eagle, I say THANK YOU! And, do you want to join us? We’re having so much fun.

Originally published at on August 22, 2015.