When it comes to the formation of a team, there’s firstly a consensus among top sailing leaders that each potential team member must be assessed on both their skills and expertise and the compatibility of their values. ‘It doesn’t matter how talented you are,’ says America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill. ‘If you have an ego or bad attitude, you have no place in a successful team.’
As in the business world, it is apparent that on the water there is no single universally successful approach to leadership, with many of the most effective sailing leaders able to change their style to suit the situation at hand. Clipper Race skipper Wendy Tuck describes different crew members responding differently to different styles and explorer Tim Jarvis suggests that leadership really should be situational.
Statements of vision or mission are commonly presented as an expression of a company or team’s culture. But when it comes to high-achieving teams on the water, it isn’t enough to simply have a stated vision; team members also need to fully buy into it.
Like trust, good communication is well credited for the success of countless teams. However, communication is also an unhelpfully broad and vague concept, so this blog will drill down into a more directly applicable style of communication that’s been used to great effect by successful sailing skippers.
Sailing, whether for survival or competition, is an unforgiving business. Confined in close quarters, crew members are utterly reliant on each other, and a heavy weight of responsibility falls on the skipper’s shoulders. The teams that excel in such environments provide a multitude of learnings for leaders back on dry land. So through this blog series, I’ve set out to explore some of the most important and universally applicable leadership lessons from the oceans.
Entrepreneur and intergenerational leadership expert Holly Ransom features Jessica in an episode of her podcast. Holly and Jessica's conversation covers conquering fear, managing risk and having the audacity to believe you can.
For a girl who essentially ran away from school for a few years, I’ve really come to enjoy study. During the rather tumultuous few years after my voyage around the world, I did go back and finish school in my own way, but I’ll admit a few shortcuts were taken. So to patch a few educational holes, I signed myself up for university...
As a brand ambassador for MTA Travel, I know you expect me to have good things to say about them, but one of the things I pride myself most on is my integrity, so you can rest assured that everything I have to say here is straight from the heart.
The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail the world, shares insights from her recent trip to Lebanon and Jordan where she sailed in the Mediterranean with a group of dynamic teens from Syria and Lebanon and visited refugee families living in camps.
Is it just me or does it feel like there’s an elephant sitting in the corner of sailing clubhouses around the country, listening invisibly as club leaders discuss the challenge of attracting new members and retaining junior sailors?
Australian Geographic Feature: With ties to a colourful past, Norfolk Island is a remote speck in the Pacific where fresh produce, sea views and pine-studded pastures abound. Yachtswoman Jessica Watson discovers its homegrown treasures.
The isolation and sometimes extreme conditions on boats create a unique environment for teams. The many different roles, short bursts of action, long periods of inaction and the challenge of communicating over the noise of the wind require a skilled leader to keep a team on course. Historically, and to this day, skippers and captains are often held in great admiration at the yacht club bar or on a national scale. But, of course, no two captains are alike so I took a look at the different leadership styles you’re likely to see used by those behind the helm.
Jessica Watson stole the hearts of Australia when she became the youngest person to sail around the world unassisted. After arriving home in May of 2010, at just 16-years-old, the world assumed Jessica was a fearless woman. Now, at 22, Jessica tells Mamamia that wasn’t the case.