I love to sail. Ever since my best friend in college taught me to sail his 1930’s-era Star, I have loved the combination of wind, currents, weather and the ability of a sailboat to harness these forces to carry us to a destination.  I love the elegant and varied designs of the boats, from dinghies to America’s Cup yachts. I love the heightened awareness of the changing and sometimes dangerous natural world, and needing to know how to manage the conditions to reach a goal.

In a sailboat race, sailing to the farthest point upwind is to sail to the windward mark.  This is usually my favorite leg of a race, and in a good wind requires me - or our team - to determine the direction of the wind and currents, choose a course, tune the sails for maximum lift, and balance the heeling boat for lowest drag and maximum speed, working quickly and efficiently.

As you can probably guess, for me sailing is also a great metaphor for conducting our lives and leading or contributing in organizations.  What is our goal?  What do we know?  What are our capabilities and talents?  What are the current and changing conditions in which we are operating?  What do we need to know and learn?  How do we optimize all the factors and forces to make it to the windward mark, to round it and race to finish?

I created Windmark as a means to partner with my clients and colleagues to answer these questions and to strategize and navigate to our shared goal.

Russ Taylor

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