The Leadership Boat

Updated: 7 days ago

Employees and managers try to communicate in boat.

Leadership. We all talk about it, but what does it really mean, and more importantly, what impact can it have on your company.

Who is the Captain of Your Ship?

Leadership is a concept that has been around for many, many years. Some say people are born with it, and others say it must be acquired. I say it is both. There is no one size fits all approach to leadership. That being said, there are some important aspects we must consider when evaluating the leadership within our own organizations and what we need to do to strengthen it.

To use a boat analogy, you might be in a canoe or a bass boat, a cargo ship or a navy destroyer, a Mississippi River paddle steamer or the latest cruise ship with 6000 passengers. Each of these floating vessels takes a different crew, are managed differently and require different skills to make it move. However, they all have one thing in common. It takes the leadership of a captain or person in charge to get the boat from point A to point B.

what Does a Leader in Your Business Look Like?

First, we must decide what it means to be a leader in our own organization. Because every company, non-profit, club or international conglomerate is unique, leadership styles work differently in each organization. A company’s history, management, purpose, mission, and most importantly the people within will usually dictate the leadership style that works best.

Organizational conflict often starts at the helm.

What does your organization require of your leaders? What competencies are most important to ensure the captain and his crew continue to steer the ship in the right direction and get you safely to your next port of call?

Learning to Manage a Crew

Second, once we have determined what a skills leader must have, we need to train them to lead our boat. The paddle steamer captain must have an intricate knowledge of the layout of the river and understand how his boat will react not only to the crew and steam engine, but also to the current of the river. The destroyer captain must know the elaborate systems for propulsion, defense, and weapons as well as manage the crew of hundreds for weeks and months at a time without a port of call.