Do You Have a Good Anchor or a Bad One?

The photo shows one of the anchors for the battleship U.S.S. North Carolina (BB-55) now on display in Wilmington, North Carolina. The length of the ship is 728’, she has a 103’3” beam, and a draft of 35’. Standard displacement for the vessel is 36,000 tons and 44,800 tons fully loaded.1 That is a tremendous amount of weight to keep in place.

There are two anchors and just one weighs 25,883 pounds, totaling 51,766 pounds for both. The purpose of the anchors is to hold the ship in place when she is not underway or tied up to a pier.

Let’s shift gears and look at the positive and negative anchors in our lives.

The Positive Side of Our Anchors

Just as a ships anchor holds the vessel in place, we too need anchors to keep us from drifting. What are some examples?

  • Character
  • Competence
  • Excellence or moral virtue described by the ancient Greeks as areté2
  • Steady support system i.e., family, friends, church, etc.
  • Continuing education and training, including personal development.

This brief list helps us to weather the storms of life, withstand the challenges of supervising people, and navigate the difficulties associated with personnel issues.

The Negative Side of Our Anchors

Although there are positive qualities to our anchors, what are the harmful effects?

  • An organizational, family, or personal culture that is resistant to change.
  • Failure to learn from our experiences.
  • Training that solely concentrates on technical skills while ignoring personal and professional development.

Forge Your Legacy

Are your anchors positive or negative? As we approach 2024, what have you done in 2023 to improve yourself? What are you going to do in 2024 to develop personally and professionally?

Now is the time to forge your leadership legacy through one-on-one or group coaching. Visit my website at or send an email to [email protected] to learn more.

1History ⋆ Battleship NC

2Christopher Kolenda, Leadership: The Warriors Art, (Carlisle, PA: The Army War College Foundation Press, 2001), 12

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