As I witnessed the test of a ship’s steering system, I couldn’t help but think about the important role the rudder holds. The ship’s rudder determines the path of the vessel and helps to maintain the course.
Take a moment and think about this:
Where might a ship end up if it sailed without a rudder?
That is fun to imagine. I can picture the ship leaving the dock, the voyage planned, the crew intending on making it to the next destination, except… there is no rudder.
When the ship is influenced by things in the external environment such as the sea state, wind direction, and currents, the ship no longer has an effective means of correcting its course and making way towards the intended destination.
Find your rudder
What steers you through life and leadership? Are you letting external influences throw you off course?
We all need a “rudder” to guide us towards where we want to go. Think about what it is that drives you. Consider your passions, desires, hopes, and dreams.
Why do you do what you do?
Answering these questions help to provide clarity on living a purposeful life.
Like a ship’s rudder, your own must be strong enough to move you and maintain course despite external influences. And also like a ship’s rudder, neglect it and it will weaken over time.
You may find that what has steered you in the past, no longer steers you today. Always be looking for that next thing that is going to take you further in life and leadership and always be improving. Submerse yourself with good information that enhances your passions and desires.
What steers those you serve?
Be familiar with the rudder of those you are serving.
“Find what steers them so that you can better serve them.”
Leadership is all about serving others. It is important to know what the passions, desires, and interests are of those on your team, and in your family. You can and should play to these strengths.
If you can identify what drives them, you are in a better place to coach and show them opportunity. Don’t discount the power of personal passion. I can’t think of a better way for a leader to gain trust than to take a personal interest in the interests of others.
Show them that it isn’t all about work all the time. Show them that you actually care about helping them to succeed in the things that steer them towards greatness. That is what leadership is all about, and it is a very powerful action.
Delivering an authentic contribution to those I serve, professionally and at home, is what steers me. There isn’t a greater feeling than that which comes from seeing others succeed.
Leaders must always be focused on honing their craft. It can’t be a one and done training session or course. Leading requires the ability to always be looking ahead, and maintaining course. A leader without a steering mechanism is lost at sea.
What is it that steers you and keeps you on course?
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