Shaping Your Trajectory

Shaping Your Trajectory

Trusting Your Gut and Taking the Leap

As the sun rose over the undulating fairways of Eagle Ridge Golf Club, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation. Today, I had the privilege of sitting down with Lynne Fuller, a trailblazing leader in the world of college admissions and student success. Lynne’s journey had been anything but linear – filled with both triumphs and challenges, all of which had shaped her into the inspiring figure she is today.

I’ll never forget the moment Lynne shared her life’s motto with me, “Lead with love.” It was a simple phrase, yet it spoke volumes about her approach to leadership. “I wear a necklace with a small heart on it because it embodies my motto,” she explained, her eyes shining with passion. “It’s a constant reminder that if a situation or decision is not speaking to the intersection of my heart, head, and gut, then it is not right for me.” [1]

Lynne’s unwavering commitment to leading with love was just one facet of her remarkable story. As we delved deeper, she revealed how trusting her intuition had been a driving force in her career. “We as women are told so often to not trust our instincts or ignore how we are feeling, but that instinct and how our heart feels is guttural…something our bodies were trained to do over thousands of years,” she remarked, her words laced with conviction. [1]

It was this ability to listen to her inner voice that had propelled Lynne through the highs and lows of her leadership journey. Whether it was making tough decisions or charting a new course, she had learned to embrace the power of her intuition. “When I do [trust my gut], the work I produce, either individually or collaboratively, is at a premium,” she shared.

Navigating Change and Challenging the Status Quo

As our conversation continued, Lynne revealed how her willingness to challenge the status quo had been integral to her success. “In any one moment, someone is bringing the weight of their world into our shared space,” she explained. “Perhaps their day, week, month, or year has been heavy. My job is to meet my client, colleague, husband, friend, or stranger where they are to help them process what they need, but then also offer tangible steps to help them get unstuck and move forward.” [1]

This ability to see beyond the surface and truly connect with those around her had been a hallmark of Lynne’s leadership. She spoke of the importance of perspective-taking, of honoring each person’s unique journey, and of asking the right questions to help guide them towards a clearer path.

As I listened, I couldn’t help but be struck by Lynne’s courage and resilience. She had navigated her fair share of changes and challenges, and yet, she had emerged stronger for it. “This year I am scaling and pivoting my business model. It has been scary. But instead of living in fear, I threw open the flood gates to invite those who live this shared perspective,” she shared. [1]

Building a Collaborative Vision

Lynne’s willingness to embrace change and seek out new perspectives had led her to a critical realization: the power of collaboration. “This has forced me to investigate who will help frame my vision,” she explained, her words brimming with excitement. “From my website developer who feels called to a holistic approach to counseling, to the photographer who has been able to capture the care I put into my work, to the videographer who asked all of the right questions to elicit responses that are personal and impactful to the viewer, to the SEO specialist who is going to optimize and amplify my voice, to the team of counselors and specialists who will do the day to day work…” [1]

The sheer breadth of Lynne’s collaborative network was truly inspiring. She had carefully curated a team of passionate individuals, each bringing their unique skills and perspectives to the table. “This process was intentional and took a long time to foster, but I am thrilled to do this work with people who genuinely love adolescents and young adults who are impassioned by providing equity and access in this space,” she shared.

As Lynne spoke, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the parallels between her collaborative approach and the ethos of Eagle Ridge Golf Club. Here, too, the emphasis was on creating a welcoming and supportive environment, where golfers of all skill levels could come together to share their love of the game. It was a place where individuals could find their own unique trajectory, bolstered by the camaraderie and expertise of the community.

Charting a Course for the Future

As our conversation drew to a close, Lynne reflected on the importance of defining a clear vision for the future – a concept that resonated deeply with me as I considered the challenges and opportunities facing Eagle Ridge Golf Club.

“The journey I have been on these past six months is something I could not have envisioned for myself three years ago before going back to school to gain a masters in school counseling,” Lynne shared. “Now that I am on the precipice of launching this revised vision of how I can support students going forward, the path is absolutely clear: build a team that spreads love and purpose in all that it does.” [1]

Lynne’s words struck a chord within me, as I couldn’t help but wonder about the trajectory of Eagle Ridge Golf Club. What vision would guide the club’s future? How could the team harness the power of collaboration and intuition to shape the club’s trajectory?

As I left our meeting, I carried Lynne’s invaluable insights with me, eager to apply them to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for Eagle Ridge Golf Club. After all, as Lynne had so eloquently expressed, “In an exponentially changing world, small moves, smartly made, can set very big things in motion.” [2]

Embracing the Power of Trajectory

The concept of “strategies of trajectory” that I learned from John Hagel’s work [2] resonated deeply as I contemplated the future of Eagle Ridge Golf Club. In a world of rapid change and uncertainty, the ability to define a clear, compelling vision for the future and then work backwards to shape the present seemed like a powerful approach.

Hagel emphasizes five key elements for crafting successful strategies of trajectory: challenging, shaping, motivating, measuring, and learning. [2] As I considered how these principles might apply to Eagle Ridge, a few ideas began to take shape.

First, the club would need to challenge its own deeply held assumptions about the golf industry and the needs of its members. What if the traditional model of golf club membership was due for disruption? What if the next generation of golfers were looking for a radically different experience? Inviting in outsiders with fresh perspectives could help the club’s leadership team see beyond the status quo. [2]

Next, the club would need to proactively shape the trajectory of the golfing landscape, rather than simply reacting to it. This might involve forging strategic partnerships, experimenting with new service offerings, or even redefining the very concept of what a “golf club” should be. [2] The key would be to take an active role in sculpting the future, rather than passively accepting it.

Motivating the club’s members and staff to embrace this vision of the future would also be crucial. Hagel emphasizes the power of narrative in this regard – crafting a compelling story that paints a vivid picture of the opportunity ahead and clearly outlines the role that each person can play in achieving it. [2] This could be a powerful way to galvanize the Eagle Ridge community around a shared purpose.

Of course, all of this would need to be underpinned by a robust system of measurement and learning. Rather than relying on lagging financial indicators, the club would need to identify leading operational metrics that provide clear signals about whether the trajectory is on the right path. And by constantly reflecting on their progress and adjusting their approach accordingly, the Eagle Ridge team could ensure that they remain agile and responsive to the rapidly evolving landscape. [2]

Conclusion: Shaping the Future, Together

As I reflect on my conversation with Lynne and the insights I’ve gleaned from Hagel’s work, I’m left with a renewed sense of excitement about the possibilities that lie ahead for Eagle Ridge Golf Club. By embracing the power of intuition, collaboration, and a clear vision for the future, the club has the potential to not only weather the storms of change, but to actively shape the trajectory of the golfing industry.

It won’t be an easy path, to be sure. Challenging deeply held assumptions, forging new partnerships, and motivating an entire community to embrace a shared vision will all require tremendous courage and perseverance. But if the team at Eagle Ridge can tap into the same wellspring of love, purpose, and resourcefulness that Lynne has demonstrated, I have no doubt that they will be able to create something truly remarkable.

So as the sun sets on another day at Eagle Ridge, I can’t help but feel a sense of anticipation for what the future holds. The path may not be linear, but by trusting their gut, embracing change, and charting a course towards a brighter tomorrow, the Eagle Ridge community has the opportunity to redefine the very essence of the golfing experience. [3,4,5,6,7]

The journey ahead may be filled with twists and turns, but I have a feeling that with Lynne’s inspiring words ringing in my ears, the team at Eagle Ridge is more than ready to shape their own trajectory.


[1] Hatch Tribe. (n.d.). Interview with Lynne Fuller of College Flight Path.

[2] Hagel, J. (2015). The big shift in strategy: Strategies of trajectory. LinkedIn.

[3] The Wired Board. (2023). How Definitions Shape the Trajectory of Our Work.

[4] Gable, T. D., Johnson-Bice, S. M., Homkes, A. T., Fieberg, J., & Bump, J. K. (2023). Wolves indirectly alter the trajectory of forests by constraining the foraging distance of beavers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 290(1944), 20231377.

[5] Weissenbach, K., & Workman, L. (2012). Proactive shaping of the future: The role of small states in the context of globalization. Space and Defense, 4(3), 5.

[6] GBTA. (2023). Leap into Success: Shaping the Trajectory of Travel in 2024.

[7] Longan, S. (2023). Focus on Your Trajectory. Medium.

[8] Gable, T. D., Johnson-Bice, S. M., Homkes, A. T., Fieberg, J., & Bump, J. K. (2023). Data from: Wolves indirectly alter the trajectory of forests by constraining the foraging distance of beavers. Data Repository for the University of Minnesota.

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