The Speedboat to Success
Successful leaders stay flexible when change comes, swiftly adapting like water flowing downstream.
WRITTEN BY: ADAM DANYAL
As leaders, we’re often so focused on paddling upstream against the currents of change that we forget to pause and check if the river itself is flowing in the right direction. Are we spending all our energy grinding upstream toward goals that are no longer relevant? Sometimes we have to release the oars, drift with the currents, and orient ourselves anew before charting a better course.
Think of your organization as a speedboat, not a canoe. Speedboats harness the power of the open water to maximize momentum using the winds, waves, and currents to their advantage. Likewise, agile leaders recognize when fundamental shifts make old goals or strategies obsolete. They pause, reorient to emerging opportunities, and then let the currents of change propel them forward at breathtaking speeds.
Remember the iconic scene in Top Gun when Maverick pushes his F-14 jet into a flat spin? He doesn’t fight the spiral down. He works with physics and waits for the right moment to thrust the engines and pull up, soaring skyward.
The moral: When fundamental forces shift, fighting the flow is futile. Hit pause, assess the currents, then redirect and accelerate. Celebrate leaving outdated plans behind. As David Bowie sang, “Turn and face the strange.” New realities demand new responses.
So watch those horizons, steer into the winds of change, and harness the momentum. With a revamped compass bearing, your refreshed team will once again hit its stride at exhilarating speed. The river is your friend if you let it be. Master mariners don’t fight the tide - they ride it to destinations unknown. Chart a new course and hold on tight!
From our Leadership Bookshelf:
WRITTEN BY: JULIA DANYAL
This newsletter emphasizes embracing change, rapidly adapting to new realities, and harnessing the momentum of transformation. The leadership book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg reinforces some related lessons through its advice aimed at women leaders, but which applies broadly:
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1. Keep your hand on the wheel - Even amidst swirling currents of change, keep a firm grip on your goals and values. Don't lose sight of your vision.
2. Adjust course as needed - Be ready to tack left or right to ride the winds of change, but don't capsize. Iteratively correct course.
3. Accelerate out of turns - Lean into shifts, then accelerate out with renewed direction. Like a speedboat, angle momentum forward.
4. Enjoy the ride - Relish the thrill of navigating uncertain waters. Change brings growth. Chart new horizons.
In sum, "Lean In" recommends boldness, conviction, and optimism when facing change. By embracing uncertainty and pivoting strategies, while staying true to core principles, leaders can ride fluctuations to propel growth.