Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Leadership and Teamwork

All good things must come to an end; unfortunately vacations can't just go on forever. I greatly enjoyed my sailing expedition visiting Guadaloupe, Îles des Saintes, and Dominica as a crew member of the Training Ship Pelican of London.

That rainbow just seemed to follow me around! There were many exciting things to see, such as a pod of several dozen dolphins riding the bow wave. Look at how they synchronize their swimming as if coordinating an Eclipse release train!

This world is definitely full of compelling and inspiring beauty, not to mention a diversity of flora and fauna that I'll save for blogs to come.

It was particularly cool to be considered a crew member and not just a passenger. It really made me feel like part of the team (and yielded in crew discounts in the duty free shops). One of the things that struck me about the ship was how well the team of long term crew functioned as a unit. Coordinated efforts are vitally important for maintaining smooth operations not to mention a safe environment. Of course, with my limited skills, reefing on the ropes to hoist the sails was the best I could manage.

What struck me most about the team was Captain John's leadership. I recall that on a previous cruise, Captain Fernando said "You know you're ready to be a captain when you can do the job of every person on the ship." Captain John not only knows how to do every job on the ship, he actually does ever job on the ship. Leading by example is his style. Here he is second from the right up in the rigging.

He could even be spotted helping do the dishes.

Obviously he was very well like and greatly respected by all the crew. It seems to me that in our industry the leaders are all too often out of touch from those they lead; not only are they often incapable of doing the jobs of those they lead, they actually consider it beneath them to do those kinds of jobs. I personally prefer to work with people as equals.

Just as Captain John felt comfortable leaving James as the helm

so too I felt comfortable that Dave and Marcelo would take good care of things while I was gone. Indeed they did. No EMF newsgroup question went unanswered. Teamwork is a beautiful thing in all its many forms.

I see the Eclipse Board election campaign is in full swing. Yawn. I guess I need to raise some controversial topics to stimulate discussion.


Eric Rizzo said...

Your photos have beautiful color - what are the specs of your camera?

Ed Merks said...

I have two Canon cameras: an older PowerShot S80 which is 8 megapixels with a 3.6 optical zoom and a shiny new PowerShot SD950 IS with 12 mega pixels and 3.7 optical zoom. For the former, I have an underwater case that lets me take pictures when I dive. The latter is highly recommend as it's tiny enough to fit in any pocket and takes amazing pictures with so much detail you can always clip after the fact to make it appear as if you are a much better photographer than you really are. The on-camera red-eye removal software is a very nice feature of it. I'll probably end up buying an underwater case for it eventually. This technology improves so rapidly and it's one of the few toys on which I like spend my money...

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