Temenos Journal II

June 19, 2011

On The Strategy of the Dolphin

Filed under: Business — by Genie Webster @ 5:58 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

When I was in business in the 1990s. I was a huge student of the book The Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World, by  Dudley Lynch and Dr. Paul L. Kordis.

The authors brilliantly described how most people approach problems in one of three ways. The “shark” believes that if you win, that means someone loses. And the shark is not going to lose at any cost.

The “carp” believes that he’s never going to win anyway, but he’s going to try to avoid losing. So he doesn’t risk anything, nor does he contribute much of anything either. These are the comfort addicts in our society, the lame ones. The authors believe that 80% of our society is composed of carps.

The third category is the dolphin. The dolphin always goes for the elegant solution. The dolphin believes everybody can win. It’s not too well-known that the dolphin can be deadly to a shark. The dolphin will warn the shark to go away, and then as a last resort, it will circle the shark until the shark becomes dizzy and confused. Then the dolphin will bludgeon the shark to death with its nose. The dolphin will always beat the shark with intelligence and strategy.

The dolphin is an infinite player*, whose primary motive is to stay in the game, but who also wants to keep the game going. The shark is a finite player, who only wants to win the game, even if it means that might mean the end of the game.

The carp watches the game from the sidelines.

*Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility

Related: https://temenos2.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/leap-how-to-think-like-a-dolphin/



  1. Dear Genie,

    I’m most appreciative of your supportive comments about my and Paul Kordis’s book, “Strategy of the Dolphin.”

    The response that work has received over the years has hugely exceeded our expectations. In fact, it has continued to be so strong and so consistent that a couple of years ago, Paul and I began work on a sequel/update of the original work. “Powers of the Fin: The Incredible Usefulness of Thinking Like a Dolphin Come Hell, High Water or Hard Times” will be published shortly.

    Anyone who would like to know the details on acquiring the new work can follow its progress at our web site


    If you’ll permit me to say so, since writing “Strategy of the Dolphin,” I’ve written and published two other books with similar content on, as I sometimes say, “getting every ounce of living from every ounce of life.” Those works are “Evergreen: Playing a Continuous Comeback Business Game” (written with David Neenan) and “The Mother of All Minds: Leaping Free of An Outdated Human Nature.”

    By the way, I thought your summarization of the theme of “Strategy of the Dolphin” in your blog item was excellent. Again, thanks so very much!

    Best wishes,

    Comment by Dudley Lynch — June 23, 2011 @ 8:18 am |Reply

    • Thank you so much for the update Dudley Lynch! I was disappointed that I could not offer a click-through to purchase your first book (I still have a rare copy–and it’s well-used! I re-read it every so often.) I can’t wait to read your new book!

      Comment by Genie Webster — June 23, 2011 @ 6:23 pm |Reply

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