The boom is coming - are you paying attention? How prepared are you?
Have you taken SDOC, made repairs, strengthened your rigging and re-shaped your sails for peak performance?
If you are the skipper, have you improved your ability to lead your crew in uncharted waters?
When we are sailing along care-free, running with the wind and there is a sudden wind shift or a rogue wave, we need to be paying attention! There can be life-threatening consequences when we are complacent or not being mindful as we sail on into the future. The image above, taken after a day of 'good luck' on the water, bears witness to the painful lesson I learnt about paying attention to the boom while sailing during a brief moment where a rogue wave and a sudden wind change threatened my face with a fast swinging boom. I say 'good luck', because my brain was very lucky to survive the impact of this oversized baseball bat. (for the full gory story, see the prologue of my book page 21).
Sailors need to be ready for unexpected storms no matter how good the current forecast might be. Skippers need to know how to reef their sails when the winds become too strong for ‘light-wind settings’. They need to be aware of safe harbours they can retreat to during a storm where they may need to baton down the hatches and wait for the sun to come out. During their time of retreat, boat crews will rest, make repairs and replenish supplies for continuing their journey when the time is right.
Cyclists protect themselves from the headwinds by waiting in the pack, before surging ahead again when conditions are more favourable. Those who use this rest, repair and renewal time wisely and are ready to act when the time is right, are more likely to emerge strongly from the pack.
You will have wonderful surges forward. Then there must be a time of retreat,
rest, review and renewal before the next forward surge.
Accept this as part of the process and never be downhearted.
Adapted from - Eileen Caddy
In September 1983 - Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, won the America’s Cup after 132 years of domination by American sailing crews. The Australians were 3-1 down in the best of seven final series but then won the last 3 races in a row, winning the Americas Cup against improbable odds. During their early losing streak and particularly over the final 3 races, the Australians weathered the storm of pressure from the American crew; the intimidating scoreboard that threatened their confidence; and the nay-sayers in the world media who said it couldn’t be done. After every race they repaired breakages, strengthened their areas of weakness, re-shaped their sails and worked on building a resilient and optimistic team-mindset. The Australian’s used their rest days to continuously improve their boat but more importantly their team culture and processes. It was not the ‘mystique of the winged-keel’ (that in truth - was a blessing or a curse depending on the conditions), it was the strength of the crew who triumphed in the end, especially their commitment to self-improvement during the downtime between their racing efforts. In fact, most successful sports people will agree that what you do and how you think during the space between your efforts in the arena, is just as important if not more so – especially when the inevitable storms come.
As we begin to re-emerge from isolation and re-engage with our work teams and customers, there are some important questions to consider: How will we go about the process of preparation for the new conditions we find ourselves in? Will we carry on with old habits, past structures, ‘proven processes’ and patterns of thinking and behaving that were working before the storm hit (assuming they will be ‘good enough’ to meet the challenge)?; or will we take the time to: scan for weak points in our business model; build team resilience and agility; strengthen relationships; and create innovative ways of progressing forward in uncharted waters? These things don’t happen by chance, they require us to pay attention!
Some are good at navigating rough seas and others need to tap into the experience of the grey-bearded, weather-beaten old skippers who love being out on the high-seas!
Free Spirit True North specialises in building team resilience and developing leaders who can lead teams in challenging terrain, using the following methodology:
1. Providing experiential learning challenges (indoor/outdoor) that help learners to gain strong insights into character traits and behaviours that contribute to personal and team resilience. Then through group discussion and coaching, to identify strengths and action plans for improvement in behaviour.
2. Facilitating a review of existing business models & team culture, using a ‘SDOC Take’ process (Strengths, Development needs, Opportunities & Challenges).
3. Re-setting the Team Compass (guiding principles and strategic direction) Reviewing Team Agreements and processes for feedback and improvement.
4. Assisting leaders and their teams to make innovative improvements (reshape the sails), that will position them wisely for the next leg of the journey.
For assistance in facilitating workshops or retreats that will help your teams to strengthen their agility, resilience, team culture and strategic direction, Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In North American Indian culture, the word 'Medicine' is often used to define the unique gifts of each person. It is considered a tragedy when people don't take the time to explore those gifts or don't have the confidence to express them. It is for this reason that I take the risk to express my truth in writing. Some years ago I lost my voice for a time and in the journey back to speaking again, I discovered that 'voicing' one's 'Truth' is a healing and health-enhancing gift that I once took for granted. Writing, art, taking journeys in nature and guiding life-transforming adventures, are my 'medicine'. This blog is an expression of this 'medicine'. I trust that the words I write, might inspire you to think about your 'truth' and your 'gifts' and I hope that you enjoy some of the 'adventures' I share.