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The Symphony Of Wandering

On July 02, 2010, in Successful Leadership, by Neculai Fantanaru

Guide your vision towards excellence, permanently keeping in touch with the true reality.

At the end of the fifteenth century, when the continents were not yet fully discovered, the great sailors had only one concern: to facilitate connections with Asia and to seek the East, sailing westward. In a word, to get on the shortest track to the Land of Spices.

This is what Christopher Columbus tried to do. Relying on the ideas of the famous astronomer Florentine Toscanelli and those of the German cosmographer Martin Behaim, with which he corresponded for a long time, Columbus, at the age of 41, decided to set forth the unknown, to the unpredictable, armed especially with hope, desire to succeed, confidence and courage. His goal was clear. He only wanted "to seek the East through the West and to reach, through the West, the place where the spices came from".

Leadership: Do you define the territory of a new perspective on the role and validity of your limits, always acting under the impulse of mistaken beliefs?

Immersed in the thicket of his own thoughts and ideas, Columbus didn't guess in any way that fate will lead him along four journeys full of danger, all of them on unknown realms. Fate tried Columbus twice, guiding him to the New World, and also the many times he didn't abandon the idea, otherwise false, that he was on the coasts of Asia. For, if he rushed into finding Japan, the newly-found islands could only be part of Japan. And because he didn't think of any other possible options, he committed several errors, which changed the whole range of his discoveries.

Columbus had everything necessary in order to excel in leadership, and to exert a notable influence on society: competence, creativity, plentiful energy, tireless self-confidence, courage. He was hardly an old-fashioned man. He was an adventurous sailor, a captain who knew well his job, a good navigator and also a good merchant. Even so, he had a weak point, a flaw that followed him his entire life, a flaw due to which he was about to lose all his advantages: he constantly fed himself with the idea that he was right. Always acting under the influence of a wrong belief, he was wrong each time. And as a result, he died without even realizing the existence of the great continent, which he would not give his name at least.

A second error that Columbus made is that he relied only on some maps drawn by Toscanelli, but which were completely wrong. Instead of trying to deepen things more, and trying to count on him, to investigate better the shores that he discovered, he relied on the idea that there is only one reality, the one rendered on those maps that guided him the entire time.

The role of the limits which you don’t always choose to impose upon yourself, that sometimes the very concept of "God" has imposed and which few people can overcome, is to make you mindful of the difference that makes the difference between what you want to fulfill at the starting point of the trip and what you want to introduce to the world when you try to think at the height of the final point of the journey.

Which leads to the result that the whole is in fact much more than the sum of its parts.

Leadership: Can you orient yourself in one direction without getting lost in the darkness of an illusion that expands its target?

Great progress in leadership, fully reflecting scientific knowledge enough assimilated for a development culminating in the desire to enter a special world, full of mysteries and compromises, have been stimulated by the constant challenges of the school of life.

Among these, we should mention personal failure, in some cases, thinking disability, maybe inadequacy to individual or collective stress, or maybe the urgent need to continuously maximize small victories hardly achieved to ensure subsequent professional safety and adaptation to a new reality.

Progressive prolongation of the compulsory processing duration of a changing "order", often demanded by conscience, and which your authority in the field always has in view, as well as changing the content transmitted by the school of life, will change the meaning and the status of your training from interior to exterior.

Yes, leadership is an art of discovery that begins and ends with you, a long dialogue with your defining authority, the self, which always pushes you to overcome your limits. A dialogue whose subject is negotiating the price that one must pay for performance. This can be expressed by the phrase: "orienting through the darkness of a becoming seeking its target."

The target on which are focused all your efforts to disguise a serious failure you only see the moment you are aware of it and continue to press to get closer to it. That means to feed illusions. Your target should not mean just to reach a certain destination, but to build an ideal destination of the greatness that you give to the world.

Leadership: Do you extend your concerns to the amount of "new" in the equation of interaction with all that is out of your control?

The weight decrease of the unpredictable factor, whose nature enables man inspired by high ideals to act firm from a professional point of view, justifies the "demand" of force to meet challenges, achieved through diversification of affirmation and promotion offer on the career steps.

Reviewing one’s attitude towards change that is often in line with the general orientation. Improving methods of processing and advance knowledge transmission. Increasing demands on the quality of cognitive activity. Extending one’s concerns to the amount of "new" in the interaction equation with everything out of your control, beyond knowledge strictly belonging to one’s domain. All these are required to take control of situations that you are facing.

Leadership: Are you "restrained" by an underserved stand-by towards a form of manifestation of the infinity that you cannot grasp?

Limited knowledge narrows your horizons. A captain, who doesn't possess enough advanced knowledge and lacks high-performing instruments and equipment, can mislead himself. Just like a doctor cannot prescribe targeted treatments if he does not have helpful elements to diagnose (for example, lab analysis), so was the case of Columbus, he would not have drifted away if he had accurate navigation maps and advanced navigation tools.

Moreover, each island discovered had plenty of clues, which could help him make the difference between the coast of Asia and the new continent, but he overlooked them. Although he had acquired a far superior training than the sailors of his time, Columbus' horizon was yet limited. His knowledge of astronomy was not as advanced as that of a captain of our times, and he didn't have first quality and precision instruments. At that time, technology was not as advanced as today. During his journeys, he always guided himself by the position of the sun, the conjunction of the stars, the length of nights and days, etc.

Infinity is the knowledge attributed to the permissive will of God, to which you get when you decide to personalize your experience of broadening horizons from the height of the final point of your journey into the unknown.

Like a mythological titan condemned supporting the sky eternally, Columbus was condemned to wander the seas and the oceans. For, if we had to sum up all his journeys on sea, we would definitely discover that he mainly drifted, wandering in search of the proposed targets. He discovered several islands on the coasts of America, yet he never really knew where he was.

However, his wandering was not useless. Because through his travels, he enriched the geographical knowledge of time with many islands, such as Tortugas, Martinique, Dominica, Maria Gallant, Guadalupe, Montserrat, Santa Maria, Santa Cruz, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Honduras coasts, Mullets islands, Darien gulf.

A bittersweet symphony. Columbus experienced many joys and sorrows, but also many victories and defeats throughout his life. His journeys represented a symphony which impressed the world, a symphony in which courage, fortitude and fearlessness combined harmoniously and despite some failures and unsuccessfulness, he rose above the people of his time. Therefore, the name and the glory of the illustrious navigator live everywhere.

Leadership is the unknown that reveals its significance from the height of the final point of the journey towards a better version of yourself.

Conclusion: Nowadays, a leader should not be compared with a wanderer, who walks on more or less beaten paths, and who does not know how or cannot reach his destination. On the contrary, nowadays, a leader must possess the both methods and the necessary instruments to achieve the final objectives.

Guide your vision towards excellence, permanently keeping in touch with the true reality.


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