The auDA is moving into unchartered waters with regards direct registrations. As I wrote yesterday, they need to make sure that they avoid the lighthouse that lies directly ahead.
I used that analogy because it reminded me of one of my favourite Stephen Covey stories – “The Lighthouse Principle”. For anyone that hasn’t heard of Covey, he is the famous author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
Whilst you may end up smiling at the end of this story, it does have some good lessons in it.
The Lighthouse Principle
It was a dark and stormy night.
Crewmember: “Captain, Captain, wake up.”
Crewmember: “Sorry to wake you, sir, but we have a serious problem.”
Captain: “Well, what is it?”
Crewmember: “There’s a ship in our sea lane about twenty miles away, and they refuse to move.”
Captain: “What do you mean they refuse to move? Just tell them to move.”
Crewmember: “Sir, we have told them; they will not move.”
Captain: “I’ll tell them.”
The signal goes out: “Move starboard 20 degrees.”
The signal returns: “Move starboard yourself 20 degrees.”
Captain: “I can’t believe this. Well, I mean I’m a captain. Let them know who I am. I’m important.”
Signal goes out: “This is Captain Horatio Hornblower XXVI, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once.”
Signal returns: “This is Seaman Carl Jones II, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once .”
Captain: “What arrogance? I mean, what presumption? Here is a seaman commanding me, a captain. We could just blow them right out of the water. Let them know who we are.
Signal: “This is the Mighty Missouri, flag ship of the 7th Fleet.”
The signal returns: “This is the lighthouse. Your call.”
Guess who changed course? 🙂
Covey also raised these three salient points:
- Values drive behavior. Principles drive the consequences of behavior. I may want to impress you in a particular way or sell something to you. But, if I don’t talk straight and don’t tell you the truth, and you know that, the natural consequence is you will not trust me.
- Humility is the mother, I suggest, of all principles.
- The opposite of humility is arrogance. Nothing derails people’s careers or their organisations more than arrogance.
What do you think?