Thursday, March 3, 2011

Paradigm Shift

I am currently taking a Leadership & Motivation class this spring semester and so far it has proven to be very useful in both analyzing and improving upon my behavior in those two areas. We are reading the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and I absolutely suggest picking up a copy to anyone and everyone! Today in class we talked about paradigms, the way in which you perceive the world, and paradigm shifts. I found that one particular story in this chapter struck a chord for me... So, I wanted to share it!

"   Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
  Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported, "Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
  "Is it stead or moving astern?" the captain called out.
   Lookout replied, "Stead, captain," which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.
   The captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise to change course 20 degrees."
   Back came a signal, "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."
   The captain said, "Send, I'm a captain, change course 20 degrees."
   "I'm a seaman second class," came the reply. "You had better change course 20 degrees."
   By that time, the captain was furious. He spat out, "Send, I'm a battleship. Change course 20 degrees."
   Back came the flashing light, "I'm a lighthouse."
   We changed course."

The degree to which our mental maps accurately describe the territory does not alter its existence.

XO, Charlotte

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