• Randy Swaim

Faith Based Leadership: The deeper meaning of Leadership.

For this blog I wanted to describe that leadership is not a superficial aspect. The foundation goes much deeper and let me expand by describing an analogy that can clarify the picture. There was a situation that Dr. David Jeremiah related which he read in a book and I researched the specific situation.


Faith Based Leadership: The deeper meaning of Leadership.

It relates the story of Mike Plant who was an American single-handed Yachtsman. He competed in the BOC Challenge and the Vendée Globe, a single-handed non-stop race around the world. He had sailed for the equivalent of about 100,000 miles of the world’s oceans. He bought a sailing yacht that he named Coyote.


One aspect about sailing ships is that out on the ocean the waves can get the ship rolling dramatically and creating instability. The way designers enhance stability is to put a load of weight deep down in the keel near the centerline. The low and deep weight tends to stabilize the ship and not let it “kicked around” as much. I understand that the Coyote had approximately 8000 pounds of weight deep in the center.


One example of this in the pilot environment in which I have spent so much time. In the Learjet with the tip fuel tanks, if you had to conduct an Emergency Descent in that airplane, you put the gear down to do so. That was the case until it evolved to the Lear 55 which did not have the tip tanks on it. The tip tanks could destabilize the aircraft and the gear provided the low, deep weight to enhance stability. It is precisely the same principle involved.


I think it was 1992 when Mike Plant set out on a sailing trip across the Atlantic Ocean to France. There came a point of time when people lost contact with Mike. Nobody could reach him on the radio frequency, and he was not responding. For a period of time, airliners would monitor emergence frequencies as they flew across the ocean. Nothing was heard from him. There was a major search for him but to no avail.


There came a time when about 450 miles north of the Azores, the Coyote was found capsized and upside down. There was some damage to the keel and they were never sure whether a whale may have bumped it or something else. The guess is that the damage to the keel lost the stability and perhaps led to the capsizing.


Mike Plant has never been found as well as no evidence of what happened to him.


Why do I relate this story? Like the keel of the sailing vessel, leadership is deep within us and it stabilizes us in turbulent times. If our leadership is deep within us but never affects our environment, it is useless. Also, if we only do somethings but it is not initiated by leadership that is deep within us, like the keel of the vessel…it is also useless.


Leadership is more from who we are.


Also, when we lead people, we do not just dictate but we reach into who they are as people and bring out who they are in the team. In other words, true leadership orients form deep with our spirit and reaches into who they are and touches into their keel.


The King that I serve does this perfectly as He connects with people. This picture is totally the center not only of faith but also leadership.


Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC

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