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What kind of wake do you leave?

sunny beach day with old boat washed up on shore. a failed boating outing
03 October 2023

As a kid I used to surf. Ridding a wave is so peaceful. As a grown up, the freedom to ride a wave like an artist paints a blank canvass…was gone.

I didn’t realize how much I missed it. It wasn’t until my friend got a boat and a wake board. I wiped out so many times thinking I was still 17. spoiler alert – I AM NOT


When I did get up…what a joy. All of these memories of a kid in Florida surfing. I thought I even smelled Pina Colada Sex Wax. (still don’t know why they called it that. But it smelled fantastic) On days we rode, I had a spring in my step. I had no idea riding wake could be so fun. 

Is it though?


Wake can be costly. Even deadly.


Salt marshes are dying because of wake. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent every year to repair shore damage called by wake. Wake causes many boating accidents a year that result in fatalities.


So, depending on how you look at it, wake can be good or bad.

Every one of us leaves a wake behind us. Every interaction with another person creates a ripple. Flowing over the course of your day. YOUR wake affects everyone around you. As does their wake.


I bet if you stop to think about it, you can see your day changing based on someone else’s wake.


What kind of wake do you leave behind?


The bad wake from a horrible client? Or a boss that’s a dictator?

The good wake from the boss that is there to serve you. Or the person in front of you just paid for your coffee.

Truth is…you are going to have bad wake and good wake days. I have met some leaders who try to go through their day with ZERO wake. Not rocking the boat.

Here’s the thing – you NEED wake to move. Nothing happens without wake. My favorite boss created massive wake. (fortunately for me, it was good wake). Along with it came opportunities.

Great leaders who move through companies and industries generate massive wake. They have to. There are many who want to wake board. Get somewhere in life. Ride the opportunity. I’ll stop with the metaphors.


If you are still with me at this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “how do I know what kind of wake I am generating? How can I influence my wake?”

Understand there are 2 sides to wake. One side are the relationships you have. Even the 2-minute encounters in the hallway. The 20 year relationships.

The other side is results. Your ability to achieve (or not) to achieve results. Back to your question. Be mindful of these two things and you will have a decent idea of the kind of wake you leave behind.

Is your wake destroying the coastline or is giving people around you a sweet awesome ride?



© 2023/24 4Sight