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Ignite: Real Leadership, Real Talk, Real Results by Gabrielle Dolan

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Chapter 2 Finding the real you

A story about a radio interaction between a US naval ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland has been doing the rounds for a while now. Apparently, the conversation went like this.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States' Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that's one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

Now, there is much debate around whether this event actually ever happened. The US Navy deny it and many believe it is just an urban myth. Regardless, it serves as a great analogy, showing that when we are firm and grounded in our values and beliefs, it is easy to stand tall and hold our position. Granted, being firm and grounded in tonnes of cement like a lighthouse does make it a tad easier.

But very often we come up against the likes of the US Navy ship, just in different guises. People may try telling us we have to divert our course because they ...

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