I was standing at the front of the room as the clock ticked down the time when we had to wrap up our quarterly planning session. We had been at it since first thing in the morning. The energy in the room was low. We had been going in circles for a while in making the final decision on the #1 priority for the quarter and what the theme should be. I had let the group have their say, we had brain stormed everything onto the wall, but now it was time. I gathered my own energy together and then said “it’s time to decide.” For the next twenty minutes I just pushed, and pushed, until the group had made up their mind.
Things were tense onboard Van Kedisi. The four of us had sailed that morning from Los Christianos on the island of Tenerife. We were approaching San Sebastian on the island of La Gomera, Christopher Columbus’ launching point for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. All four of us onboard were working together to spot the entrance channel and the tiny opening to the harbour as we passed massive ferries on the commercial dock. On a sailboat you all have to work together because your lives depend on it. In this instance grounding out on a rock or hitting the breakwater would not likely have cost us our lives, but it would have done serious damage to Van Kedisi scuttling our well laid plans to sail across the Atlantic together.
While published in 2011, I have just now finished reading Great By Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen. Like Collins’ most famous book, Good to Great, Great by Choice shows meticulous research. The premise of Collins and Hansen’s research was why do some companies thrive in chaotic environments while others flounder?
What they discovered is what they call 10Xers. Leaders who over a 30-year period outperformed their competitors by ten times. They studied these leaders and their companies to come up with these conclusions about why they were able to survive and thrive over a very long period, often with massive changes in their industry and markets.
I hear my alarm go off at 5:15 am. Having got to bed at good time the night before I am fully rested so it is easy to swing my legs out of bed, get up, and put on my exercise kit that I laid out in the bathroom the night before. I head downstairs where I spend time sitting on my cushion, journaling, meditating, and reflecting on the start of my day. I walk into the kitchen, make myself a healthy breakfast, and then enter our dining room. I glance at a photograph of the Karalee, Jocelyn, Kevin, Allen, and I getting ready to dock our sailboat Dragonsinger in Aegina, Greece connecting me to the rest of our family who are not yet awake. I pack up my water bottle and head out to join my small gym group at 6:00 am. We work hard for an hour; after which I head to a coffee shop where I enjoy my first coffee of the day while I journal for a few minutes. Two hours after I first woke up I take out my smart phone for my first look of the day at social media and email.