The Vessel & The Lens

Last week I had lunch with a friend who, like me, is a recent graduate of a coaching certification program. [1]

As we compared notes on our various projects, I used a word I’ve been thinking about quite a bit recently with regard to my new venture. 

The Vessel.

I explained this venture as being a vessel to contain and blend various elements of my skills, experience, and interests: coaching, teaching, content design, entrepreneurial thinking, storytelling.

As I spoke, he gave me a look before asking the questions he knew I needed to be asked.

What made it a vessel? 

What was important about that?

What else could it be?

Just because it’s a company doesn’t mean it has to be something into which resources are poured. 

What if it was broader? 

What’s the sum of all the elements being brought in?

What do they represent?

What if they represented a worldview?


A way of seeing the world, and how it could be in the future. 

A lens to see the world and the elements within it.

A lens to focus time and energies.

A lens to sharpen the view.

A lens to better see the people this venture seeks to serve.

Vessels are useful. Lens are powerful.


[1] The topic of two coaches meeting for lunch probably deserves its own post, and probably its own cartoon in The New Yorker – a joust of probing and empowering questions and wry ‘you got me with that one!’ moments.

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