Nick named Father Goose by Barbara Walters, Bill is a world renown artist. His works include award-winning films, numerous works of public art, a self-designed energy efficient home and a best selling autobiography. He was a pioneer in ultra light aviation and the first human to fly with birds. He also initiated the use of ultra light aircraft in establishing new migration routes for precocial birds. His work has been documented numerous times including ABC’s 20/20, CBC’s The Nature of Things and two hit feature films, Fly Away Home and The Winged Migration were inspired by his work.
Bill has received numerous awards including the Odyssey of the Mind’s prestigious Creativity Award, The Canadian Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal, the US National Wildlife Federation Conservation award and two Honorary doctorates. He is cofounder and chair emeritus of Operation Migration the organization which has played the key role in establishing an second flock of endangered Whooping cranes in North America.
Above all, Bill Lishman is a great storyteller and has told his story over a hundred times in the last twenty five years. He has been able to refine the presentation based on audience reaction. It is never the same twice, but it never fails to inspire.
His eclectic interests allow him to individualize the emphasis to suit the interest of the specific audience and he has spoken to a wide variety of groups from young to old, from corporate annual meetings as well as tourist groups. Conventions, student groups, civil servants, administrators, teachers, engineers, artists, environmentalists all find inspiration and motivation from his presentations. Audience members report feeling uplifted, inspired and Bill has received a standing ovation on many occasions. Generally, the presentation is 45 minutes – 1 hour. When time is not a constraint he has spoken for up to 1.5 hours.
His presentation is like a page turner that keeps the audience always engaged and waiting for the next reveal. To provide detailed description would not do justice to the unique nature of his story. However, there is a key (true) story in the middle of the presentation about Igor, a juvenile goose that had an accident during flight training for Lishman’s second migration experiment and almost gets killed but survives to become leader of the flock. Then, due to a quirk in his nature, Igor gets lost on migration. This imbedded mini story has many twists of emotion but ends up on a high note that picks everyone up and leads them into the story of the success of restoration of the whooping crane. This story touches some complex business and political issues. The presentation
ends on some practical and whimsical ideas that Bill continues to pursue.
The story documents Bill’s progress through a unique and truly unorthodox career. It is so off-the-wall to a general audience that the story captivates and inspires them to truly think “out of the box”. That might mean dealing with personal issues or figuring out a new way of solving something in their business. His delivery is engaging, humorous and personal. Jeff Daniels who plays Bill in the Columbia pictures 1996 hit film Fly Away Home said “with Lishman, Idea is a verb”. ABC’s Barbara Walters called him “Father Goose”.
This was received from Brad Gioia is head master at Mongomery Bell Academy in Nashville a private boys school with an enrolment of 700.
Bill — What is so remarkable about this e-mail is that Jamie is a reserved and taciturn young man, who only expresses himself when his convictions are so strong that he must admit this feeling and enthusiasm . I am proud of his openness and sincerity. Let’s talk after you return from England. Best — Brad
I just wanted to let you know that today’s speaker was one of my favorite ever to come to mba. His exciting and dynamic life truly inspired me and I was never aware that assembly lasted 20 minutes longer than usual. I wish I could be listening to him speak again right now but unfortunately I have too much work to do for tomorrow. He opened my mind to view life in an a way I had never considered before. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your bringing him here today. Judging by the standing ovation and the conversations that continued throughout the day, I know I’m not just speaking for myself.