Leadership in a word: Anchors
A WORD ABOUT ANCHORS
In his book “Six Hours One Friday,” Max Lucado shares a story about weathering Hurricane David while living on the Miami River in a houseboat. While many people along Florida’s Gold Coast were boarding up their homes he was desperately trying to figure out what to do to save his boat.
In his desperation, he recalls a story of a friend who came to his aid. He writes:
“I was reaching the end of my rope, in more ways than one, when Phil showed up. Now Phil knew boats. He even looked boatwise.
He was born wearing a suntan and dock-siders. He spoke the lingo and knew the knots. He also knew hurricanes. Word on the river had it that he had ridden one out for three days in a ten-foot sailboat. They made him a living legend.
He felt sorry for us, so he came to give some advice ... and it was sailor-sound. ‘Tie her to land and you’ll regret it. Those trees are gonna get eaten by the ‘cane. Your only hope is to anchor deep,’ he said. ‘Place four anchors in four different locations, leave the rope slack, and pray for the best.’”
Think for a moment of the many times in your own life and leadership when you’ve faced storms and trials. We’ve all been there.
In leadership, as in life, you will need to take the advice of Phil and anchor deep. You will need to know that your anchors are deep and will withstand the storms when they come.
What about you? What are the anchors that keep you grounded? Here are a few anchors that work for me and have worked for me over the years. See if you can relate to any of these.
THE ANCHOR OF FAITH
My faith has sustained me over the years through many times of testing as a leader. I am thankful for God’s strength to empower me, faith to encourage me, grace to forgive me, and His love working through me to empower and encourage those around me.
THE ANCHOR OF FAMILY Family tends to be your most honest brokers. They are the ones who love you unconditionally and the ones who can give it to you without the filter. Family will stick with you when others walk away and weather the storms with you when times are tough. I am thankful for my family.
THE ANCHOR OF VALUES The hardest and most important decisions you make as a leader must be made through the lens of your values. Not what is expedient at the moment or the most politically advantageous. You will be defined by your values so be sure they are clear to you because that’s how others will evaluate you as a leader.
THE ANCHOR OF YOUR ‘WHY’
Knowing your why - living out your God-given purpose as to why you are on this earth - will keep you anchored. It’s your filter for the good things that you say “no” to in order to say “yes” to the greater things that are in store for you. When you know your why it will keep you grounded and it will keep you focused.
THE ANCHOR OF FRIENDS When you surround yourself with good friends they will, like family, keep you grounded, keep you humble, and call out the best in you. Have friends around you that will speak truth to you, believe in you, and be that friend in return. I am thankful for so many friends that have been there for me through thick and thin.
“Have an anchor so that life doesn’t toss you around.” - Debby Ryan
"Cast your cares on God; that anchor holds.” - Frank Moore Colby
“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values- that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” - Warren Buffett
A FINAL WORD
The anchors we need in life and in leadership are not mutually exclusive. One serves to the benefit of the other. Learning how to incorporate them into our lives and what anchors we need is the question. No matter what the trial or difficulties you may face, remember what Phil said and “anchor deep.”
©2018 Doug Dickerson