Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do you have your “ships” together?

Dreams, aspirations and goals stimulate our imagination, but they aren’t enough for those used to achieving more. Sailing through life rudderless isn’t an option. It’s time to get your ships together. I can think of eight key ships you ought to evaluate for seaworthiness.

Relationship
Many times, there are wide variables between our interactions with our significant other, our family members, friends, and colleagues. Are you being authentic in all your relationships? Are all of your relationships where you want them to be or are there some that you could improve? Are there people you sometimes want to throw overboard? Examine your relationships and surround yourself with the best crew possible.

Leadership
I believe everyone has the capacity to be a leader, be it of a household, a company, or even a little league team. Any organization of people needs a leader. Someone to set a vision, inspire movement and encourage people along the way. There is something in your life that you’re leading whether you know it or not. It would be better to know it. The helm is yours, captain.

Ownership
Although material possessions really don’t matter much in the big picture, when we work for something, scrape and save for some tangible thing we want, like a camera, new shoes, special watch, car or house, the basic pride in ownership is the same. We take care of the things we own. We clean it, shine it, and show it off. We do so because it’s a symbol of our success. Are you taking pride in ownership? Polish the brass.

Citizenship
It is a sense of patriotism. Many look at what a country owes them instead of what a country full of liberty provides, like security, tranquility, justice, and the ability to pursue happiness. Everyone’s taxes are too high, but if you think about the value you get for that contribution, it’s a pretty good deal. To function properly a country needs good citizens. A population that educates itself, votes, serves as jury to justice, contributes in ways big and small is one that reports for duty and takes responsibility seriously. Raise the flags, show your colors and salute.

Stewardship
Nothing lasts forever, but there are times when things fall under your watch. Leading a team, babysitting a child, living on the planet. No one wants something bad to happen on their watch. Stewardship is treating something that’s not yours as though it were and then leaving it with grace and in a little better condition than you found it. What can you make better?

Craftsmanship
Everyone does something well. Something that requires their head, heart and hands. It may be your hobby or your vocation, but it calls you and your work speaks to others. It’s funny how people tend to be the most skilled craftsmen around the things they are most humble about. Devote time to your craft. Practice, hone, improve, excel. Make the engines purr.

Entrepreneurship
Start something. You often see a need, a way to be of service that others haven’t thought about before, but you too often ignore your great idea. How faithfully you go about filling that need is your entrepreneurial spirit. It may be risky, but go for it anyway.

Followership
Often we overestimate the leader and underestimate the follower. Without the follower, the leader fails; without a leader, followers perish. You must know when to lead and when to follow. Know when to offer new ideas and solutions and when to support and respect existing ones. Respect your crewmates and the command.

Navigating these eight “ships” comes with a fleet of emotions. Pay attention to them. Take care of them. Inspect the hull and scrape the barnacles off from time to time. Send them out to explore uncharted waters. Spend time with them and just enjoy what they uncover alone and working in harmony with each other. Do you have any other “ships” you would add? Let me know.

Visit http://karlbimshas.com/tools.html for a FREE self-assessment on your personal fleet.