Monday, February 13, 2006

Leaders Need Stillness

In the classic book Moby Dick, there's a turbulent scene in which the whaleboat is bobbing across the ocean in pursuit of the great white whale. The sailors are working hard, their muscles taut all energy focussed on the task.

But in the boat there's one man who appears to be doing nothing. He's not rowing. He's not sweating, He's not shouting or swearing. He's the harpooner and he is quiet and poised and waiting.

Then Herman Melville says: "To ensure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet out of idleness, and not out of toil."

It often seems to be more dramatic to row the oars and get into the fray but for any group to be hitting the target the leader must first be still.

Geoff Pound