There are people who believe leaders are born,
not made . . . we fundamentally disagree.
What Is A Blackfish?
It’s not the prettiest fish by any stretch, but it may be the coolest, and it’s definitely the coldest. Tales of the Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis for you science-minded folks) and its ability to cheat an icy grave approach mythic. The blackfish, some say, can come back to life after being frozen solid. It has a modified esophagus, so in brutal Alaskan winters when temperatures plummet and oxygen levels in the water get low, well, the blackfish can come up for air. That’s right – it breathes the same air we do. It adapts to the challenge. The Blackfish is a survivor.
The blackfish inspires us.
It’s got fight and the wits to outsmart adversity. It finds strength in overcoming obstacles, not aspiring to be noticed. The blackfish takes nature’s worst and comes back for more. It takes it on the fin (ha!) and rallies again and by doing so gives others the courage to keep trying.
The blackfish is a good steward.
With only seven inches of length, drab coloring, dark blotches and a fatty, white belly the blackfish seems destined to succumbing to the elements (or sitting home prom night). But this fish does a lot with little, or should we say large, gill covers that used wisely – provide essential protection in the freezing sea.
The blackfish solves problems effectively.
“Stay in school and never swim alone.” Turns out the scouts were right. Strong icy currents are nimbly navigated by schools of blackfish that, by staying together, control their destiny in turbulent tides. They show us that deadly currents can be conquered not only by the mighty tail of a whale, but also by the sum of a million tiny gills.
For your nonprofit or government agency to survive and thrive in a charity-challenged world, you must use your resources to their best advantage, encourage others, and lead by following something much bigger than you. So when we named our consulting firm, we wanted to pick something that symbolized the strength of the clients and causes we serve.
We’ve chosen the blackfish not to represent who we’ve been, but who we want to become. Life is rife with adversity, but knowing our strengths – and using them effectively – gives us the staying power of the blackfish.
You need a healthy partnership between the board and management.
You need a way to navigate around hardship.
You need sustainable resources to advance your mission.
You need a supportive staff that can convince clients the world hasn’t given up on them.
You need Blackfish.