Tuesday, August 6


Everyone who has ever sailed knows the feeling of exhilaration when their sails are trimmed perfectly.  You can literally hear and feel a sustained note in the rigging that could well be described as a hum.   What a thrill—one I had recently while sailing my San Juan 21 on the Chesapeake Bay on an unusually windy day for this time of year.
As I enjoyed the pleasure of flying over the water, I couldn’t help but reflect on the similarities between sailing and leading an organization.  Sometimes conditions require a light touch, while other conditions demand a stronger hand.  Usually, you can’t sail directly to your destination—the fastest route involves keeping the destination in mind while tacking back and forth as you move toward it.  The cooperation among captain and crew is also critical, affecting timing, speed and safety.
Nature moves toward greater purpose and harmony.  When we accept the organic way in which change occurs and work with nature, we are more successful than when we ignore or fight it.  Sailing is such a good reminder of this, as well as a great metaphor for leading organizations.  Whatever summer pleasures you undertake in this next month, do so with greater purpose and harmony—and bring back to your workplace whatever insights they provide.

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