School of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna...

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Sharks are the top of the food chain in the ocean.

They are remarkable creatures and efficient killers who bring terror to swimmers and surfers around the beaches of the world.  Great whites, hammerheads, tiger sharks, mako sharks and whale sharks are amongst the iconic species found in the shark family.

As I consider this amazing and diverse group of predators, I’ve realised that there are a few helpful principles that we can learn from sharks.

Never stop moving – As a part of their streamlined design, most of the larger species of sharks need to always keep moving in order to breathe.  They take water in through their mouths and the water passes over their gills, in a process called “ram ventilation.”  If they stop moving for a short period of time, they drown and die.

We live in a world that is going through dramatic and constant change.  Whilst it would be excessive to suggest that if we stop moving we’ll die, but it’s still important to remember that if we don’t continue to learn, grow and develop, we’ll potentially be left behind and will struggle to stay afloat.

Not all of today’s jobs will even exist in 10-15 years time and it’s fair to say that all of our current technological devices will be redundant and irrelevant much sooner than that, so it’s important that we keep moving.

Never miss an opportunity – Sharks have an extraordinary sense of smell and are able to sense blood in the water from miles away.  In addition, the iconic hammerhead sharks can detect electrical currents through their uniquely shaped heads that also enable them to find their prey effectively.  Once they find what they’re looking for, they hone in to catch themselves a meal.

Are you on the constant lookout for opportunities?  Where others see a problem, do you see a chance to find innovative solutions?  Is every interaction another opening to put your best foot forward?

Equip yourself for success – Sharks are well equipped for their role at the top of the food chain.  Rows of razor sharp teeth that get replaced over time, a streamlined body that’s built for speed and the ability to detect prey from a distance combine to make them extremely effective hunters.

How are you equipped for success in your chosen field of endeavour?  Do your skills match the work that you’re doing?  Do you find yourself working in your areas of strength the majority of the time?

Sharks are truly amazing creatures and they remind us to never stop moving, to never miss an opportunity and to equip yourself for success.

Is there anything else that we can learn from sharks?

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