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A Peacock in the Land of Penguins Paperback – December 15, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 3rd edition (December 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576751732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576751732
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Every once in a while a small book comes along that deals with a profound subject in a very simple, elegant way. A Peacock in the Land of Penguins is such a book."—Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute "Is there anyone among us who has not felt the pain and frustration of not being appreciated for who they really are? A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, a powerful message, simply told, speaks to the spirit in each of us that yearns to fly high and free."—Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus, CEO and The Path

About the Author

BJ Gallagher Hateley is president of Peacock Productions, a human resources training and consulting company. A popular speaker and workshop presenter worldwide, she has consulted to leading corporations and nonprofits including DaimlerChrysler, Chevron, IBM, Volkswagen, Baxter Health Care, CBS, the American Press Institute, and Planned Parenthood. Her other books include Customer at the Crossroads and What Would Buddha Do at Work? Warren H. Schmidt is president of Chrysalis, Inc., a management training and consulting organization. A professor emeritus of the University of Southern California where he was professor of public administration for fifteen years, he also serves as chairman of the World Heritage Foundation. He has authored numerous books and articles and has participated in more than 90 educational and management films. Together, Hateley and Schmidt have also coauthored Pigeonholed in the Land of Penguins and Is It Always Right to Be Right?

Customer Reviews

Some pages only contained 6 to 10 words while others may contain more words but made little sense.
Michael L. Gooch
I was asked to read this book for work and since reading it I have shared it with many others including my 8 year old daughter.
David Williams
It is the best I have read, and believe it conveys the benefits of diversity in a simple and easy to understand way.
Beth A. Hinsdale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The best thing about a fable is that they can be used to deliver harsh messages in soft tones. In this story the penguins are bureaucratic bound managers that are unwilling to tolerate any change, even if it is the mere mention of change. The peacock is a hotshot (in the good sense) new hire that is full of energy, new ideas, creativity and purpose. Similar dynamic individuals added to the organizations are an eagle, hawk, mockingbird, and a swan. All started jobs in an organization run by penguins where the penguins professed a desire to execute some changes. At first the penguins were happy to see the infusion of "new blood."
However, over time the penguins grew insecure over the prospects of change and together they forced out all of the "unusual" birds. Although the nonconformists suffered a bit, they managed to gather together and form a dynamic and creative group that they called the "Land of Opportunity."
As the material in the afterword demonstrates, this is an excellent book for diversity and creativity training. In the modern business world, every employee needs to be operating on all creative cylinders and must be heard. For it is impossible to predict where the next great idea will arise so it could very well be suicidal to discount or suppress any new idea that is raised.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Gooch on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I did not buy this book. It was given to me by an associate as an `idea' for a corporate-wide human resources conference.

As a corporate director, I was flabbergasted by the simpleton tone of this book. Some pages only contained 6 to 10 words while others may contain more words but made little sense. The theory behind this book is that people are different and we should allow diversity to flourish in order to make the company and the employee happy. This is an idea that any thinking manager caught up with a couple of generations ago.

It is no wonder that our creativity and abilities to sustain long term profitability - not to mention our adaptability and flexibility - is going down the drain. It is not only this book but others I have seen that are very similar. They start by developing a catchy theme and then building a one-trick pony system around the theme. It is a cartoonish way to manage but I suppose in this twitter world anything with heft is dealt out of the deck. It is so sad to see people traveling down this path.

I did find value in the book by giving it to my grandchildren to read. They enjoyed it.

If you wish to really explore this topic, I would highly recommend Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success.

I hope you find this review helpful.

Michael L. Gooch, SPHR
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beth A. Hinsdale on April 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am an attorney practicing labor and employment law and have used this book in diversity training. It is the best I have read, and believe it conveys the benefits of diversity in a simple and easy to understand way. All levels of employees, from rank and file to top executives, can (and in my experience do)relate to its message.
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Format: Paperback
Talk about the perfect book to begin a brand new year!

A PEACOCK IN THE LAND OF PENGUINS is a perfect book for anyone in the workplace or just in life that is looking for their place in the world or trying to discover what it means to belong. I love the fact that by using birds the authors were able to show that it is so easy for us to just go with the flow, just because others who live where we do or look like us do it. What it means to live, however, is to be the person we were created to be and to be that person bravely. That is what the peacock showed, even though it took some time.

No one wants to feel left out. No one wants to be made to feel as though they don't belong, but what is worse than the two is to allow your authentic self to be lost in the pursuit of "fitting in". May we never let that be said of us, and if we find ourselves on that particular path may we change gears now and start living boldly.

What BJ Gallagher and Warren H. Schmidt have written is truly timeless. A PEACOCK IN THE LAND OF PENGUINS is really just the book all of us need to get handy when we are faced with the task of being anyone other than ourselves.
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By Shawn C on January 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was required for a Social Problems with Technology class that I took the previous semester. It did it's job in giving ways to improve your work ethic, behavior towards others, and overall how to better yourself within your company. It was nothing extremely exciting, but it was an easy read and informative.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marina on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book helped me greatly to determine what was happening in my life at a particular time in my office and its personnel structure. It takes you trhought the characters on a journey of office environments and the typical personalities found therein. I do not have anything but praise for this title. A great read, jovial, and humorous it is a definite buy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Williams on April 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was asked to read this book for work and since reading it I have shared it with many others including my 8 year old daughter. Its an easy read and really gets the point across.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I_Am_Incognito on June 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The missus is very experienced in the field of executive coaching and career counseling/transition and she wanted me to order this book for her. I am not in this field so have not read the book but she has. And if she wants it, it must be good :)
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