Every place that I've ever worked, there have been people who have molded me into the leader that I am today. There are also people who have stifled me and my ability to influence others. Some served as anchors who held me back or sails who have pushed me forward. As I ponder these metaphors, I have to remind myself that sometimes I have held people back while other times I have pushed them forward.
In other words, I have been an anchor for some and a sail for others.
Anchors are not necessarily negative or bad people. They are just complacent and hold you back from your potential. They prevent you from making change and feel finding potential growth that is deep inside you. They view mistakes as fatal flaws, and thus make you afraid of what you might become if you did something different.
Conversely anchors can be good things in your life. They can ground you because you aren’t ready to be pushed forward. They care about you enough to hold you in place so you can prepare yourself to be pushed forward.
Sails are people who challenge you to move forward. They tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. They challenge, motivate, and inspire you. They see you not for where you are but for where you could go, and they embrace you and your effort when you make mistakes. They challenge you to get better, and they use their power of persuasion to make you want to be better.
Just like the anchor, there is a different side to being a sail. Some sails push you forward without even knowing if you’re ready to move forward. They don’t take time to assess your ability well enough because pushing is the goal not growing the person they’re pushing.
Are You an Anchor or Sail?
Do you hold others down or do you push them to reach their potential? Do you take time to whethercthe person you’re helping needs to be pushed or grounded? If you're the wrong kind of anchor or sail, it's really easy to change. All you have to do is realize that every person wants to improve, and if you will embrace that fact, you'll instantly figure how you can be the right kind of anchor or sail that will help them harness their winds of change to move them to the place that they want to be in the manner that they need to get there.