Needle and Thread

“The teacher is the needle and the disciple is the thread. One must practice ceaselessly”

–  Miyamoto Musashi
The Book of Five Rings

This is a lovely metaphor for coaching and consulting. The master guides the disciple, setting direction, helping to weave them into the fabric of the organization, helping them to become part of something beautiful, part of an emergent whole that is hopefully greater than the sum of its parts. However just as the needle is not part of the finished product, so too the
master is not necessarily part of the organization that the disciple is now inseparable from. Eventually the master moves on. The needle finds a new thread.

As coaches, as consultants, we may become part of many organizations, but nevertheless we remain outsiders. We provide our coaching, our guidance, our direction, adapting to the organizational culture and trying to help create something great. If we are successful, we have provided the kind of guidance that helps to create the kind of great and lasting social fabric that holds great organizations together. And then we move on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: