Here’s a story of Captain Perry from the war of 1812 which will make you sit up.

During the time, much of North America was still unsettled. Gaining control over the Great Lakes and the waterways would define who would dominate the territory – England or America.

Captain Perry was commanding a ship which had a bit of history. His ship – “Lawrence” – had been named after a recently killed Captain.

Capt. Lawrence and his ship had been destroyed in a navy combat. His last words ” Don’t give up the ship” had caught on… although Lawrence had disobeyed orders and had foolishly brought his fleet down.

But for Captain Perry and his ship – “Don’t give up the ship” was more than a war-cry – it was their identity as the ship flew a flag proudly stating ” Don’t give Up the Ship”

On the day of the battle there were two ships – “Lawrence” and “Niagra” – Lawrence in the thick of the storm and Niagra watching the battle rage from a safe distance.

As the day wore on, Captain Perry and his ship “Lawrence”  could see that they were fighting a losing battle. Though Captain Perry had caused heavy casualties to the British ships and fought furiously  – his ship “Lawrence” was a complete wreck; 80% of Captain Perry’s men had been killed or wounded; yet the mast flew high ” Dont give up the ship”

At this point Captain Perry did the unthinkable – he lowered his only remaining boat into the seas and with a small contingent of men he rowed away.

Perhaps the enemy thought – he was fleeing the scene. By this time, British ships had also been damaged and they might have sighed a breath of relief seeing the Captain flee.

But when Captain Perry reached the other ship “Niagra” – he convinced them in a few moments to head directly to the British ships & engage them.

And like they say – the rest is history. Captain Oliver Perry managed to defeat the British ships and throughout the remaining war – the British could never regain what they had lost that day.

Captain Perry’s actions were impressive – inspite of the bad advice flying high on his ship.

Captain Perry didn’t fall in love with the idea of winning the battle aboard his ship.

He had victory in mind – a clear goal but he was also fine with changing the plan to achieve his goals.

There is a lot to learn from Captain Perry.

Many of us set our goals and plans in stone. We fall in love with our plans and are over-committed.

It’s one thing to set goals – and entirely another to get our team to accomplish them. Moving from vision to execution needs a different set of skills.

Is your team equipped to  accomplish goals ?  What are the triggers that will help them revisit / revise their plans ?

Its time you choose to enroll for our “if-then” workshop – we help you in accomplishing your goals. For more details, write to us at

Like they say – Goals are set in stone ; but plans are set in sand.

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