Returning to harbour

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Tony Phillips of The Coaching Approach sends out a daily quote.  I suspect I initially subscribed because I liked Tony and thought I could filter the email away (sorry, Tony) but over time I’ve come to look forward to reading the quote and it is part of my routine for the day.  Today’s was

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

John A. Shedd

It had me thinking in both directions.  First, taken on face value the quote is highly valid.  We should all ensure that we do not sit in harbour at all times.  That we travel outside of that comfort, embark on journeys, arrive at new places and enjoy experiences.  Perhaps because I have just spent a period of time talking to high level executives I have been seeing plenty of this.  Those executives are often straining every sinew to push themselves and others – endlessly on the move setting off for pastures new.  The second direction I took from the quote was that a ship does need to return to harbour at times.  For a check-over, to refuel, to get ready for the next journey.  I often see less of that in executives.  Taking stock, resting, re-fueling, considering where to go next.  Like a ship they risk failure through poor maintenance.


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