Gullible’s Travels

http://www.web-business.fr/life/kupit-amfetamin-v-permi-zakladkami.html One of my favorite leadership lessons waited almost 300 years for me to find it. And now I’m sharing it with you.

In 1726, Jonathan Swift published Gulliver’s Travels, a story about Lemuel Gulliver’s adventures at sea. The best-known of these is perhaps his visit to the land of the Lilliputians.

“The night, perhaps, is dark, the tattered canvas is thrashing with a noise like thunder, the ship burying her decks under angry black seas every few minutes.” It was on this night that Gulliver’s ship, The Antelope, crashed on a reef and sank.  The lone survivor, Gulliver reached the shore and fell into a deep, deep sleep.

Upon waking, Gulliver found himself unable to move. He was lashed to the ground with hundreds of tiny cords, each tied to a miniature stake. At the mercy of the tiny Lilliputians, Gulliver was considered a giant and a danger to the people of Lilliput.

You can read the whole story for yourself. But for our purposes, that fiction stops here. And another fiction begins.

This new fiction to which I refer is what many define as the activities of a leader. It often defines the leader as the one who directs, hires and fires, solves problems, checks Key Performance Indicators, develops job descriptions, devises methods, assigns duties, and develops action plans. As in politics, some say, one only needs to repeat the lie often enough that it will be eventually perceived as the truth.

And I suppose that works… for the gullible.

But here’s the simple truth: source link True leaders create – or prepare for – change. That’s it. That’s my definition, and Gulliver provides an example of why this is so.

Think of Gulliver lying on the beach, tacked to the ground and unable to move. Now consider each of those threads as things you do as a leader. Only you know what activities lash you to the ground. That’s not leadership; that’s captivity.

True leaders create – or prepare for – change.

Eventually Gulliver freed himself and went on many other adventures. But here’s what Gulliver missed: He never spent time in the crow’s nest.

In order for one to lead, one must develop the ability to escape from the bonds of operations, of management, of technology. One must climb high into the crow’s nest far from the creaking ropes and chains to a place where the only sounds are the sea and the fluttering of sails. Here, sights are set from a viewpoint no one else can have.

Leaders create – or prepare for – change.

Leadership can’t be maintained from the deck, from where many a leader has run aground. Don’t be one who falls for ancient myths of leadership. Don’t go on your own “Gullible’s Travels.” Prepare for bad weather if it’s coming. Set a great new course under fairer skies.

So, my dear captain, free yourself of the bonds of the everyday to see where you can go…and what you can do.

 

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2 Responses to Gullible’s Travels

  1. Arrgh, me bucco.
    The more tasks I delegate, the more ropes I break, and the more free I make myself. Why it was only last week, when I was able to sit up and take notice of all the nautical miles we had covered over the past year. There are many tasks I still believe only I can handle well, but when it comes to swabbing the decks, or hoisting the anchor, those tasks be simple to delegate. It be the setting of the sails that require a hearty crew, that I cannot do myself, so delegate that as well shall be my next step. The crew needs to feel comfort in the fact that their captain knows the ports we are bound, but I get the feeling they do not care of the captains ability to steer the vessel. So delegate away, else they keel haul me for being negligent in MY duties.

    • Jeffrey Tobin says:

      I’ll be swabbin’ the deck, Cap’n. Just keep yer wits about ye and we’ll bring ‘er about, wherever ’tis you be wantin’ t’ go.

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