As deeper and deeper into the waters she dips,
You crew needs you now more than ever before,
As you Command your brave crew towards the treasure-filled Shore.
Captain, your brave voyage into these tempests and storms began with such promise. We watched as you and your mighty crew battled and won the first three adversaries that you skirmished with. Each battle was different, and each filled with lessons to take you further on your journey. But it seems, brave Captain, that these victories filled you with a false sense of security.
You lead your ship into the fourth battle, a battle that you were decisively winning. But you made a terrible mistake, Captain; you and your fellow officers turned your boat away from the enemy before their ship was completely submerged. This gave them time to reload their still-deadly cannons and take aim as you boastfully turned your broadside to them. You said you learned your lesson after sustaining your first defeat, a stunning and bitter defeat at the hands of your most hated enemy. We believed your words, captain, because you took responsibility for the defeat, saying that it wasn’t the fault of your crew.
But the next battle came; a battle spoken of as an epic battle between two great foes, destined to meet again in the great final battle of the treasure-filled shore. But your ship and your crew came to the battle without fully preparing for what awaited them. Your crew looked in shambles and disarray as the enemy opened up with an attack born of patience, familiarity, and some would say, legend. To your credit, you mounted a valiant counterattack, coming very close to landing a victorious blow to your opponent, but alas, your most important crewman, your helmsman, was not at his best, and thus, you suffered yet another loss.
Now, with your ship starting to show the signs of battle and fatigue, you prepared her for another battle, this with a seemingly inferior foe. We know you were missing some key members of your crew because of battle injuries sustained in earlier fighting, but you convince us that the younger crew will step up and fill the roles left by those crewmembers. We began to see hope as you march a new member of the crew, a savvy veteran of many wars, onto the ship in hopes of rallying the other crew members to refocus. We cheer on our Captain, his officers, and his helmsmen, even as some in the crowd begin to mumble about if it’s time to replace him and his steadfast personality, including his underachieving crew.
Then, you sail into the
enemy waters, the waves start crashing into the rudder, and suddenly the helmsmen
can no longer keep a hold of the wheel. The man that we’ve come to rely
on to guide the ship and his fellow crewmates has suddenly regressed to the
time when he was just an apprentice. Without their helmsmen to guide the ship
though the battle, the ship and its crew flounder in the waves as the enemy
pounds their hull relentlessly. The mighty ship and its crew limp away from
the battle in tatters, holding their defeated heads low.
So now it’s on you, Captain. Your ship is listing hard to port, taking on more and more water as the men fight to right her. Your crew and its officers are lethargic and down, looking like they have no answers to the questions that have been so alarmingly plentiful, and you bring her back to home port, where your countrymen await you with disdain and impatience. Isn’t this the ship that we’ve waited and worked on for so long? Isn’t this the crew with all of its talent and pride that should be able to overpower any other crew in the sea? I believe that the final answers rest on your shoulders, oh Captain, for it is your inability to change has become detrimental to the journey.
You see, Captain, the other ships have seen the way that you mount your attacks, they know your moves, your strategies, and your battle tendencies because you continue to believe that the same maps that led you to the treasure in the past will lead you once again. This theory has proven to be flawed, however, because you can’t use the same map or the same battle plans when you are leading a different ship. You need to learn to adapt your own battle plans, learn to incorporate some newer, more contemporary strategies, in order to keep your enemy guessing your next move, and to give your crew, especially your helmsmen, the time to make good decisions and lead your ship to victory.
I still believe that you
are the Captain that can hoist the treasure triumphantly to the air on the bow
of our great ship, but you must learn to swallow your pride, for the world is
not flat as you have always believed. You are the one that must adapt…the
world around you will not.
Mark Olsen writes frequently for Seahawks.NET. Feel free to send him feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.