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Leadership in the ocean of life: drifters, surfers, drowners, and sailers!

What a great pleasure I had this last week end in Silver Spring, Maryland, to teach and to learn leadership and life issues with the Bread of Life Bible Fellowship Ministries led by Senior Pastor David Faustin and his spouse First Lady Yolaine Faustin and their outstanding team.

I shared with them the following insight, reported by New York Times Bestselling author, Chris Brady, in his Life Leadership Essential Series’s book “Wavemakers: how small acts of courage can change the world.”

Brady quoted Roy H. Williams about the four kind of people you meet on the vast and tumultuous ocean of life.


1.- Drifters. Those who drift just go with the flow. The wind and the waves control their speed and their direction. The drifter quietly floats along and says, “Whatever”. In our Haitian Creole we would say ¨JPP¨(Jan’l Pase l’Pase).

2.- Surfers. Those who surf are always riding a wave, the next big thing. They stay excited until the wave fades away, then they scan the horizon for something new. Surfers don’t usually get anywhere, but they make a lot of noise and put on a good show.

3.- Drowners. Those who drown seem to stay in the center of a storm. It doesn’t matter how often you rescue them, they’ll soon be in another crisis, crying, “Help me, save me.¨

4.- Sailers. Those who sail are navigating toward a fixed point. They counteract the wind and the waves by adjusting the rudder and shifting the sails to stay on course.

Having your immovable fixed point in life is detecting your purpose, your reason why, your sense of meaning. Sailers know why their destination.I told the group there are two important days in their life: the day you were born, and the day you discover why you were born.

We had a conversation on defining leadership, the difference between leadership and leaders. We shared contents on vision, mission, and values, as well as the concepts of being dependent, independent, and interdependent in building communities.

During the break, I had some time to interact with some of them. Drinking coffee, and eating fruits, I had some one on one short conversations and gathered some feedback on the first part of my presentation.

Then Carline Brice, a seasoned professional with the OAS, who chairs the Public Relations Ministry at Bread Of Life Bible Fellowship Ministries, told me what she wanted to do for  the second part of the event. She did well. First, she congratulated me for the presentation, she mentioned one chapter of my book ¨Leadership Sur Le Vif: des idéés pour le changement et la création de Richesse¨. Then, she asked me to engage each one  present in the audience in a conversation about their commitment in the church, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

It was fun to listen to each and every one lowering their guards and to talk freely about who they are, their strenghts, and weaknesses.

As I told Senior Pastor David Faustin, I have been meeting a lot of groups in our community, this is one of the best I met so far. This also bears a responsibility, not to lower the bar and move forward.

God bless,







5 responses to “Leadership in the ocean of life: drifters, surfers, drowners, and sailers!”

  1. Roland Avatar

    Let’s sail toward our fixed point.

    1. Roosevelt Avatar

      Yes, Brother Roland. You say it. The big this is to discover our “fixed point” and be courageous to go for the journey.

  2. Ken Hendon Avatar
    Ken Hendon

    Excellent post! Great people, great topics, and a loving and just God; what else could we ask? Ken

  3. erfahren Avatar

    That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate information… Thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read article!

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