“You are the captain of your own ship; don’t let anyone else take the wheel.” Michael Josephson
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Bertha Calloway (attributed)
Lessons and Leadership-
Winds & Currents or Sails & Rudders?
It is so easy to allow the winds and currents of life to determine where we go. Many of us are where we are in life, not because we chose our destination, but because our destination chose us. Life happens to us and we react.
Insignificant leaders are like captains who fail to use the rudder or the sails. They are pushed about by the prevailing winds and currents with no control of where they are going. They are acted upon instead of acting on their environment. This usually happens because they have no clear destination.
Significant leaders are like captains who have a clear destination and have set a course. They use the rudder and sails to take advantage of the winds and currents to keep them on course. They are masters of responding to the differing circumstances that come their way and therefore are masters of their own destiny. Everything doesn’t go their way, but they take responsibility and action to get back on course every time adverse conditions have taken them off course.
Significant leaders recognize that more often than not they have to make decisions with less than perfect information.
But, they are willing to make the best possible decision based on the information at hand and knowing where they are going.
When we make decisions based on feelings, circumstances and conditioning we have no control over our final destination. We become victims of our conditioning and circumstances. What’s outside of our center of influence controls us instead of focusing on what’s instead our center of influence.
Often times we make decisions based on the immediate situation and what is most pressing instead of based on what is most important. When we focus on the short term we often surrender our long term goals and destination.
Each time we make a choice it leads us down a different path. Every time we make a choice we surrender other options.
We cannot have our cake and eat it too.
As Leaders of ourselves first; and leaders of others secondly we must first determine where we are going in the long term based on carefully selected beliefs and values and by developing a clear and compelling vision of where we are trying to go. This direction will provide the guidance and power to make better decisions in the immediate moment.
When we take time to develop and choose our own beliefs, values and vision we gain strength to lead. And one of the greatest and most important strengths of a significant leader is the ability to say no. Significant leaders can say no to their feelings, to the pull of their circumstances, to the impact of their conditioning and to the rabbit paths of life. They have clearly defined beliefs and values and a vision that marks a clear path to leading a life of significance. No, is easy when you know where you are going.
79. What situations or circumstances cause you to surrender control of your ship? Why? What can you do to take back control?
80. What unimportant things do you need to say “NO” too, in order to be able to say “YES” to the most important things in life?
Tomorrow we take a look at the maps that are currently guiding us and we begin to determine whether they are accurate and worth following to the treasures of life or whether they are leading us in the pursuit of fool’s gold and utter disappointment. Ultimately, only you can make that decision.