Kedging, Motivation and Lean

30 April 2011
Winter is over and it is time to kedge out; get into action. E-bits takes Daniel Pink’s thoughts on motivation and couples them with a sailing practice called “kedging” to create a one-two punch setting yourself up for success.
Enter Bob Stauble. Bob is one of the original founders of Healthtrax, a great, premium fitness center. When you talk with Bob you can’t help but get caught up in his passion for health and living a full life. “So, Alden,” he says, ”got a kedge in your life?” If you are a sailor you will recognize the term. A kedge is a type of anchor, the traditional looking one. Picture the days of tall ships entering port, where the wind, currents and tide made entry impossible. What to do? Put the anchor in a boat and row it several hundred yards ahead and drop anchor. Then with all your might, everyone on the ship pulls against the anchor and draws the ship into harbor. And you repeat this until the ship is at port. Anyone who ever got their keel stuck on a muddy bottom sailing knows about kedging out.
The notion of “pull” is a very lean manufacturing concept. “Pull” is a philosophy that accentuates optimized activity and no waste. Think about pulling against the dropped anchor. The direction is set, the line is taut and every ounce of my energy is moving me in the desired direction. All focus. No waste. Where do you want to row out and drop anchor and begin pulling? It has to be something worth working for. Losing that winter weight is not the kedge, but being able to dance all evening at your daughter’s wedding is. You kedge when you are stuck and there is no motion. You are going to row the anchor out beyond today’s capabilities, that’s the point.
This is what Daniel Pink, the author of DRIVE, talks about. Daniel tells us that recent motivation research shows that what really drives people is a desire for autonomy, mastery and purpose. I have to want it. I have to be disciplined to achieve it.
Pick an area where you want to grow/to improve, row that anchor out, drop it and begin pulling to achieve your goal. Check the video that I posted at It is a very cool animated graphic representation of Daniel taking about motivation. Well worth the watch. Let’s all get out there and plant our kedge anchor!
Play hard and keep adding value.
Alden B.
Check out my latest radio segment on the Mozart Effect.
E-BITS …thoughts of increasing value
Kedging, Motivation and Lean

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