“From hell’s heart, I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
The ferocious intensity of his anger could be felt as he looked down upon his enemy. Captain Ahab truly despised the white whale, Moby-Dick.
The whale had once attacked and destroyed Ahab’s ship. In the chaos of the disaster, Ahab’s leg was severed. Ever since he had been obsessed with hunting down the whale, seeing Moby Dick as a personal enemy, fixated on killing and exacting his revenge.
However, as the story progresses, Ahab’s vengeance goes beyond mere revenge. His obsession becomes all-consuming, and he is willing to risk the lives of his crew and his sanity to achieve his goal.
Can you stand down from a fight?
When to let go and when to hold on.
We have so much to unlearn from the leadership of Captain Ahab in this 1956 classic movie. Many leaders become obsessed with their goals, but they rarely keep a check on whether it’s the right goal or not. It’s truly a lesson to unlearn as one is always taught to achieve the impossible while barely understanding the meaning.
Ahab’s obsession can also be interpreted as a metaphor for the dangers of unchecked ambition. His growth as a leader is reversed as he makes decisions and takes action with a low Spiritual Quotient (SiQ).
“I am madness maddened! That wild madness that’s only calm to comprehend itself.”
Captain Ahab had failed to understand his true purpose at sea. His was a story of revenge, but had he given himself a chance, his leadership would have been legendary. However, much like Captain Ahab, the journey of a leader is often caught up in the crossfires of rejection, failures, mishaps, and regrets.
“Just as a Trident symbolizes control over the tumultuous seas and the oceans, so does the Savant Leader gain dominion through a high SiQ.”
I have collaborated with numerous individuals in leadership positions who have transformed within themselves. What has proven most effective for them is the endeavor to respond to some challenging questions such as:
· Which battles should you pick and which should you leave?
· What will be your lasting impact after you are gone?
· What is the ultimate purpose of your work?
· How are you contributing to change the world?
· What is the internal desire that motivates you to create a legacy?
· What adjustments must you make within yourself to achieve your aspirations?
In my years of coaching leaders to become legends, I have come to understand that the path to becoming a leader starts with being a servant leader but culminates in becoming a SAVANT LEADER.
A SAVANT LEADER understands the philosophical meaning of their existence. They contemplate the deeper aspects of life and their purpose for living. Their approach to work is to uphold the depth of one’s purpose and contribution to society and humanity as they strive toward becoming a legend. They can attain complete harmony between their mind, body, and intellect, and are not hindered by doubts or regrets.
Had Ahab gotten a hold of his obsession and not let it spiral, he could have mastered his way of living at sea. It was as Imagine Dragons put it in their song – Believer:
First things first
I’ma say all the words inside my head
I’m fired up and tired of the way that things have been
Second thing second
Don’t you tell me what you think that I could be
I’m the one at the sail, I’m the master of my sea
A Savant Leader is a Philosopher, a Thinker, and an Intellectual. Their happiness is not derived from temporary pleasures or self-centered pursuits but rather from the meaning and purpose of living while realizing their true nature.
That is why, as a leader, if you have not experienced SAVANT LEADERSHIP, it is something that you should strive for. By this, I mean that without understanding your higher purpose and having clarity on your identity, it is not possible to become a leader with an inspiring legacy.
“Do not let your emotions spiral into a whirlwind of unquenchable obsession, instead allow yourself to flow like a Savant Leader.”
Well put in this poem called The Leader
Patient and Steady with all he must bear
Ready to meet every challenge with care
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real
Isn’t afraid to propose what is bold
Doesn’t conform to the usual mold
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight, won’t do
Never backs down when he sees what is true
Tells it all straight and means it all too
Going forward and knowing he’s right
Even when doubted for why he would fight
Over and over, he makes his case clear
Reaching to touch the ones who won’t hear.
Growing in strength, he won’t be unnerved
Ever assuring he’ll stand by his word
Wanting the world to join his firm stand
Bracing for war, but praying for peace
Using his power so evil will cease
So much a leader and worthy of trust
Here stands a man who will do what he must.