Old Memories and Fresh Perspective

Posted 10.05.2015

This past weekend I attended the Capital Coaches Conference to give a couple of presentations on “Coaching Your Clients to Mindfulness” and to share with a few hundred fellow coaches how our Life GPS® personal planning model makes it easier for busier people to be more aware and intentional. Along with many other factors, one of the most fun parts of the conference was getting to visit with a lot of old and new friends who have been long-time readers of this blog.

It’s really humbling and gratifying when people tell me they got something out of a particular post (sometimes years ago) or how they share the blog with their friends and colleagues. One of my friends, Eric, told me how much he enjoyed the series of posts I did over five years ago about my overnight visit to the aircraft carrier, USS Harry S Truman. Our conversation surfaced some good memories for me.

I spent a few minutes today reading the opening post of that series. As I wrote back then, I was beyond impressed by the capabilities of the crew of the Truman and how everything was organized to set them up for success. From the perspective of the way my own work has evolved over the past five years, I recognize now just how mindful – aware and intentional – the sailors and airmen on that ship were.

There are mental vignettes that stand out for me.

One was the conversation I had with the 20 year old seaman who was responsible for making sure that half a billion dollars worth of aircraft was properly parked and positioned in a hangar bay below deck. He explained the process he used to make sure that everything was in its place and how important it was to ensuring a safe and reliable operating environment for everyone involved. It was an impressive display of awareness and intention.

Another was when our group was on the bridge watching night flight operations. It was a pitch black night and the rain was blowing sideways. I remember watching an aircraft director guiding an F/A-18 to its parking space after it landed. The pilot followed the signal flashlights of the guy on the deck until his jet was parked with its nose hanging two or three feet out over the side of the ship. That was one heck of a lot of awareness and intention on both of their parts and, for the pilot, a lot of trust and confidence that the guy with the flashlights wasn’t going to send him and his $61 million jet into the drink.

So, thanks to Eric for the conversation and for prompting me to go back and look at an old memory with a fresh perspective. I learned a little from that and had a lot of fun in the process. Thanks Eric!