The Tern Strategy

Lessons in success from the amazing Arctic Tern


  • Arctic Terns weigh just 3.5 ounces, but have one of the longest known migration routes of all animals, even longer than the humpback whale. They travel over 44,000 miles in a year from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again.
  • Arctic Terns will travel an estimated 1.5MM miles in their lifetimes. That’s a trip to the Moon 3 times over.
  • Because of their migratory patterns, Arctic Terns get to see 2 summers every year. They see more daylight than any other animals in the world.

What would bold bring you?

Work Smarter, Not Harder

  • Arctic Terns are one of the only birds aside from the Hummingbird that can hover.
  • Arctic Terns don’t spend the whole route of their migration flying by flapping their wings – they glide a great amount of the distances, taking advantage of their unique hovering ability.
  • Arctic Terns are so adept at this, they can sleep while gliding.

What can you do to work smarter?

The Easiest Route Isn’t Always The Shortest Route

  • Arctic Terns don’t take straight routes from the North Pole to the South and back again.
  • The birds follow a somewhat convoluted course in order to take advantage of prevailing winds, in some cases going to all seven continents!
  • They will seemingly detour long distances to find better feeding grounds or to avoid bad weather, taking advantage of their environment.

What route will take you to most easily to your destination?

Embrace Success!

  • There are estimated to be over 2mm arctic terns worldwide
  • They hold the world record for long distance migration of any creature on Earth

What could you achieve with the right strategy?

The Arctic Tern Teaches Us:

  • It’s not your size, but the size of your ambition that matters.
  • It’s not your effort, but the impact of your effort that enables you to achieve.
  • It’s not your route, but the ease of travel that propels you to go the distance.
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