Not everyone wisely uses the time they are given. We know not how long we will be on earth and often we’re charging ahead and not living in the moment. (Guilty). But sometimes I hear the message. I hear the small voice that reminds me to be still. And when I listen, the gifts of clarity, peace and joy become more evident than when I’m rushing ahead frantically searching for (wait for it…): clarity, peace and joy.

Twenty five days in France and Italy with my beloved. It was a celebration of John’s birthday and a time for us to be together more intentionally than our usual busy lives at home. Neither of us had been to France and we discovered it together. And we so ‘get it’. The beauty of Paris, the cafes, the people, the language. We were also in the area of Burgundy on a trip through the Canals of Nivernais. Nine days, a lot of locks, and a chance to see human nature at its finest and its worst.

I observed behavior of some people who thought no one was watching. Does it matter that they were Americans? Probably not; but their actions were shameful.

Here’s the story.


We were traveling for part of our holiday in the Burgundy area of France on LeBoat, a private charter boat company. We and another couple shared a 42 cabin cruiser through the locks of the Canal Nivernais. Stunning countryside, quaint villages with medieval castles. Charming people. You can dock along the canal or in some small marinas. One evening we choose a small marina.

A sailing club from the East Coast had rented about five of the LeBoats. Parking in a marina at day’s end was tight. One of the sailing club’s boats came in “hot” and HIT two boats – both private. The first one had the couple on board. The second one was empty and they hit it HARD twice. We were watching. Accidents happen, right? But if you were in an accident and no one saw it, would you leave the scene? I shouted across the small bay, “You HIT that boat!” They looked at me, looked at the boat and went below deck. The boat they hit was a beauty. They pushed in the back window and dented the transom.


The next morning the Harbor Master came through to collect the fee. In my best French (fist smacking into other hand) and then holding up TWO fingers with a look of alarm on my face, he went and spoke to the owners. When they approached the sailing club, they DENIED hitting the boat. And then the owners said, “We have witnesses.” Insurance info was then given.

What would you have done? As my shipmate Amy mentioned, they were all complicit in the coverup. I know that’s not an American thing. It’s a human thing. But a sailing club? Aren’t there some rules of the sea that they violated? They definitely showed little integrity.

Would you be part of that group? Are you leading a company that doesn’t have absolute integrity, unless someone is watching? Do you work for a company that lacks integrity? Is that ok with you? If not, consider raising your game. Your standard. The company you keep. And remember: you never know who is watching. When you know that if you mess it up, you’ll clean it up, all is good. And doing the right things right will never make anyone question your integrity.

Smooth sailing my friends. If you’re looking for a lookout in your crow’s nest, I’d love to talk with you about coaching or keynote speeching. (yes, speeching!) Because it’s not all serious, but it all matters. You are the captain of your own ship; head in the right direction.


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Victoria Trabosh

Victoria Trabosh

Since 2003, I have leveraged my 40-year business career and life experience into a role as an executive coach and international speaker, author and columnist. Practicing what I preach, I have been my own agent of change during my career. It has sparked in me a passion for helping others change as well. In fact, I’ve committed my life to it.

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