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The Hoshin Group

Leadership and Executive Coaching

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

Orienting Myself – On and Off the Water

Those who know me at all know that I love the water and I love to sail. This morning, on the way to a client meeting, I paused to listen to a halyard banging against the mast of a boat in the harbor. I was absolutely delighted to hear that lyrical sound. I could have instead tuned into a dozen other things… the train crossing the railroad bridge, the hum of the traffic on the interstate, the siren blaring from the police station two blocks away, or the honking horns of the cars that couldn’t exactly figure out who had right of way at the intersection I was about to cross.

We get what we focus on and when we focus on what we don’t want, we seem to find more of that. Walking into any meeting, I want to be clear headed and open, intentionally focused on a goal and achieving a mutually beneficial outcome. So, without exposing myself to undue risk, I tune out what could be negative distractors and instead focus on things that help me to see and appreciate the highest potential for my clients, the world, and myself.

The earth is spinning at an amazingly fast rate and as such, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time orienting myself. To live a happy life is, in great part, appreciating what you have AND where you are. What I’ve found, for myself and the clients I’ve formally coached for the better part of the last two decades, is that few of us appreciate we are and fewer still have a clear understanding of where they would like to go. Knowing where you are starting from is a pretty important piece of information that clearly influences how and when you might get to where you’d like to go.

Blending my work as an executive coach with my passion for the sea and sailing, during last year’s off-season, with compass, dividers and parallel rules in hand, I learned how to confirm and chart my position on the water by myriad means. This winter, I’ve been learning the basics of navigation and am beginning to master both how to take sights with a sextant and the math required to convert that data to useful information, a confirmed position on Earth. If you had told the 20 year-old version of me (that struggled through college calculus) that in my fifth decade I would be willingly learning trigonometry and regularly contemplating spherical geometry, I would have never believed you. Developing these skills takes a significant amount of energy and focus. It’s a lot of work — and it’s incredibly rewarding.

Years ago when I chose a logo for the Hoshin Group, I chose a compass. Why? When you master that skill, you can use a compass over and over to take trips anywhere you could imagine. You can set off to exciting new places knowing that you’ll both be able to confidently find your destination and return home!

Coaching is kind of like that. It doesn’t matter if we start the conversation exploring your desired destination or with a clear assessment of where you are setting off from today, it’s about planning and taking a life-changing journey. Together, we’ll surface your very best thinking and put those ideas together, charting a course that excites you – one that stretches you and even scares you a little – that you know will change your life for the better. One of your greatest regrets at the end of your life would be NOT taking it.

I can’t say it any better than Mark Twain, whose immortal words continue to inspire me and grace the front page of my website (www.HoshinGroup.com); “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

But call me first. I’ll help you chart your course. Few of us succeed without a little bit of help and encouragement every now and again. It will be fun. I promise.

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