Magpies are known for their “thievery”, collecting shiny objects to adorn their nests. That fact is not 100% true. The reality is that they are inquisitive, interested in any object but show no preference for shininess. (BBC Article).
How many times have you seen someone going after a project, information, topic, … just because it’s bright? Once collected, once they put their nest’s name on it, they just forget about it and go to find the next one? They transmit a false sense of urgency just to get the team to work and to obtain wow! results. Also, they have a false sense of property, if it glitters it has to be theirs.
How may people do you know like the real bird, who are inquisitive? Who want to understand, investigate, keep and share knowledge? Sense of urgency when needed, a team working towards a common goal, results to be trusted. No sense of individual property, just the need to know more. The name onto something would be a reward.
When we behave as the expected magpie, there is no us, no team, 1+1<2. Only me, I, no one else… noise, fights, agitation and anger. There is always someone faster than you. There is the fear of not being able to collect any more shiny objects.
I am not buying it, I prefer the real magpie. That allows the us, 1+1>2. But this, requires patience, generosity and time. There is less fear to failure, there is more place for success.
Maybe it’s been a weird mix of birds and human behavior but I have seen a few with too many useless bright objects in their nest.