If you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. – Lao Tzu
Hokusai’s Great Wave imagery represents a signature metaphor for the complex environment that leaders and teams are working in today. There are the obvious metaphorical messages, about working together to overcome obstacles, the importance of teamwork and the power of collaboration. Here a few angles that may give you new insight into this metaphor, and what Guiding Leaders and Teams contributes:
Hokusai painted for 60 years before creating this wave. He started painting at the age of six. He sought the best teachers to show him diverse aspects of his craft all leading to what would one day become Japan’s most iconic work of art. When you seek out a professional executive coach, we believe it is because you have found your passion and you are committed to excellence in your field. We know you are passionate about not just technical and business expertise, but emotional intelligence and the impact your behavior has on the world around you.
When you invest in personal growth, you never know how influential you may become. Hokusai’s art, nearly 150 years after his death, is still being reproduced in various forms. His art has inspired not just artists, but musicians, poets and business professionals, who see the determination that radiates from his work.
Over the course of his career, Hokusai changed his name over 30 times. Today, these different names are used to distinguish the distinctive chapters of his work. What he didn’t change was his commitment to developing his art in a way that both celebrated and challenged cultural norms and expectations respectfully.
We think the same is true in growing your business in a changing world. It is important to maintain your companies vision and articulate cultural values in order to prepare for the crests and crashes of rogue waves. At Guiding Leaders and Teams, we get in the boat and help paddle, while also giving you what you need to succeed on your own in unchartered waters.
Many key stakeholders tried to stop the progress of the powerful wave. Because the Great Wave was originally a woodblock print, Japan’s government labeled it as lowbrow art. As a matter of fact, its release outside of Japan was delayed nearly 30 years while Japan limited its trade to include only Korea and China. When Japan was finally pressured to open their borders in 1859, Hokusais’ prints were celebrated by Vincent Van Gough and Claude Monet, just to name a few.
We believe in the importance of identifying, managing and engaging key stakeholders in real ways while helping you stay true to your business culture.
If you look just to the right of the center of Hokusai’s masterpiece, what looks like another wave is, in fact, Mount Fuji. This is significant because as you are gaining momentum in your business, mountains may appear in your path that you didn’t expect. At Guiding Leaders and Teams, we can provide proactive tools, that can help you navigate the waves of disruptive change to build enhanced resilience.
The great Austrian poet Rainier Maria Rilke was so taken with Hokusai’s work that he penned the following words in his honor:
Six and thirty times and hundred times the painter tried to capture the mountain, tore it up and then pushed on again six and thirty times and hundred times … Then suddenly knowing, as in a vision, lifting itself up behind every crevice.
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