Ocean Literacy!

July 2020: Having failed to raise any money to fix their sailboats (and having completely abandoned Earl de Blonville’s personal sailboat, COURAGE, to rot at the dock in Denmark) ORI has pivoted to a new scheme. Now, they will “develop Australia’s first integrated Ocean Literacy program and provide a key environmental resource for Northern Rivers students and teachers.” (my emphasis). Towards that end, Earl de Blonville has created YET ANOTHER new website. Earl’s nonprofit, Oceanic Research Institute plan to prepare “Australia’s first” educational materials, which may surprise the easily Googled people in Australia and New Zealand who have been working on and producing ocean literacy materials since 2002.

Earl(e?) de Blonville is enamored with being “first” (i.e., ORI is “the world’s first independent, fully sustainable oceanic research organisation”; “Earle de Blonville is the pioneer of a radical new leadership system that will change everything”; “Postformal Leadership itself is revolutionary” and “will totally change how advanced Leadership is practiced into the 21st century”).

All this revolutionary “firstness” is ironic in view of Earl de Blonville’s derisive public quote about “plentiful and tiresome I-Was-There-First types”. But that irony seems lost on Earl as is the irony of declaring yourself the sole savior of “leadership” based on an academic “discipline” which you made up and no one has ever heard of.

“Our Leadership philosophy is: “Leadership is neither born nor taught, but circumstance calling forth a champion” (The use of “Our” begs the question of whether Earl has adopted the pronouns of monarchy or perhaps he has a mouse in his pocket). If that philosophy raises more questions in your mind than answers, rest assured because Earle de Blonville is a world leader in the radical new leadership system that will change everything.” The condensed Cliff Notes version of Earl’s “leadership system” is “quit high school, start a small business, lead expeditions then claim to be a business coach and leadership expert. Whatever you do, don’t actually study anything but rely on intuition fueled bombast (and something called ‘self-talk’)”.

-excerpt from Earl’s brand new, April 2020 Executive Leadership website

There, I have saved you the cost of a coaching session with Earl.

Surely we can rest assured that this “radical new leadership system” has resulted in a well-documented and peer-supported solid track record of leadership success for Earl. Would that it were so.

The qualities of an effective leader will always include honesty and trustworthiness in the top tier. Consider this 4/23/2020 tweet:

Here’s how this incident was described in the book written by the expedition videographer who was filming the incident:

Bloomfield decided to forge ahead, having seen me filming non-stop. In a bold attempt to showboat, he made a rash decision to careen over the corner of a small ice floe, but balance made him pay for his error and his kayak tipped sideways, dumping him upside down in the frigid waters. He was submerged for moments before attempting an Eskimo Roll technique to right himself. His first attempt was in vain as he reversed back into a submerged position. He tried again. He got halfway back up then returned once again to the icy water. It seemed, by now, that he’d abandoned the roll technique and squeezed out of his kayak beneath the surface. Like a sailor overboard, he quickly resurfaced and clung onto his capsized kayak until the rest of the team pulled alongside him, including the Zodiac. He clambered into the Zodiac shaking, quivering and, not the least, embarrassed. I spotted Joy from the corner of my eye and he was straining himself from guffawing out loud in amusement. Larry and Pompeii took control of Earl’s partially submerged kayak and assessed the damage. Bloomfield had completely waterlogged his entire kit including the latest Nikon reflex camera and the ultra expensive zoom lens.

Anyone can make a mistake. It takes honesty and character to resist making life-threatening melodrama of your misjudgment. One does have to give credit though, for a superhuman sense of balance. Few mortals can “stand on” their kayak with such nonchalance.