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The Sailor

by Dennis Vicars
November/December 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-sailor/5019616/

“No one appreciates the skills of a sailor until they hit the storm.”

I recently read this author’s unknown phrase and was taken aback. This sentence captures the very essence of quality management and leadership. In many ways it’s similar to a well played sporting event where the players are the main focus while the officials skillfully allow the game to progress at its own natural pace, only intervening when a situation dictates guidance or decision making. Few people leave a stadium thinking about what a great job the plate umpire did in calling balls and strikes. However, the well played game was due in large part to the preparation, field conditions, and skilled decision making that went into allowing that competition to flow. Conversely, poor officiating, like poor sailing, creates the opposite conclusion: chaos, disruption, negativity, and potential loss.

Great leaders, not unlike great sailors or umpires, often seem to be invisible to the busy daily operations of the enterprise they guide. These are the leaders that create improvements every day, which often go unnoticed as if the organization was somehow put together by magic. All too often, those things which were created and continue to evolve in making a great center/school ...

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