Point / Counterpoint – In Honor when Breaking an Agreement Due to Emergency … or Not?

A veteran of over 1000 team, division, regional and international meetings and trainings, Board member Olaf Krop will, on a quarterly basis, bring to you a powerful ritual, ceremony or exercise.

Perfect Timing: Completion and Renewal

The end of the year is a traditional time to reflect and renew for the coming year. Part of the power of your men’s team is to use the wisdom of your men to guide you through the process of completing old challenges and creating new ones. 

This exercise is a good one to use at the end of a cycle in order to help the men see the perspective of their life constantly evolving and growing in power and wisdom. 

Often a good ceremony begins with the leader presenting a scenario, creating a visual or a metaphorical place to step into. Storytelling is a powerful way to create a scene. 

This ceremony uses the metaphor of a ship pulling into port, completing one journey and beginning another, as the crew unpacks and repacks for the new journey. Some crewmembers are leaving the ship, while new ones are joining. In the next journey the entire crew will learn to rely on, work with and trust each other during the calm and stormy parts of a crew’s journey. 

The important question, which is delivered as a metaphor is:  What do you need to unpack (things that have not served you or have completed their usefulness in your past journey) and what do you need to pack (new tools, perspectives, lessons learned) for the next journey? 

The completion of the ceremony is to make the men aware of the upcoming journey, and how important it is that the men learn to trust and take care of each other. The imagery is one of the ship pulling away from port. As land and safe harbor disappears in the distance, the men taste the sea air, and feel the swells, they look around to see that the only thing they have is each other and the ship. It is container that will keep them safe and whole, and as they look into each man’s face, they realize that these are their men, come what may, and that these are the men who will complete the next journey together. 


Leader introduces the context: Pulling into port, we need to prepare for the next journey. Things get unpacked, garbage is dumped, new provisions are packed, and crew prepares the ship for the ongoing journey.

  1. Each man is asked what he needs to unpack, a metaphor for what has served him and what has not (1 min per man)
  2. Each man is asked what he has completed honorably with this journey. (1 min per man)
  3. Each man is asked to reveal what he needs to pack (the lessons, wisdom, etc. that will sustain them in the next journey) (1 min per man)
  4. Men reveal why they have chosen to continue the journey and how they will serve honorably (1 min per man)
  5. Leader completes the process by short guided visualization: (Ship pulling away from port)

Process complete. Journey underway.

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