William Henley wrote: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Such beautiful, powerful and inspiring words for great leaders who are captains of their lives. In his recent blog post, hockey great Ryan Walter shares a metaphor about the unexpected and unseen challenges great leaders experience on their magnificent journey.
Walter and his wife, Jenn, found time to steal away for a moment to spend time on their boat along the Pacific Coast of British Columbia near their home. Unexpectedly, he found he could not get the boat to plane even when he put both throttles down. He returned to the marina expecting to find an engine problem. His mechanic suggested first a cleaning of the boat’s keel. No engine repair was needed. The boat had barnacles which were preventing the boat’s speed. Walter, a leadership coach, mentor and consultant, found learning in this experience. He asks great leaders: “Have barnacles been attaching themselves to the bottom of your boat?” What are those things that overtime have imperceptibly attached themselves to our life and are slowing our forward progress?
In nautical terms the process of barnacles growing on the bottom of a boat is called fouling. Great leaders would probably choose the same term for the process as it applies to their professional and personal life experiences – that slow, gradual and unnoticed evolution of attitudes, behaviors or actions that, left unchecked, impact growth and development. May you quietly pause for reflection and ask yourself: “Have barnacles been attaching themselves to the bottom of my boat?” And then take action to get back up to speed. Your journey is to ride the waves of life with magnificent passion, joy and caring in fulfillment of your purpose. Enjoy every beautiful moment! Life is so very good.
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!