Brendan Hall, youngest skipper to win the hardest Yacht Race
As described in Team Spirit: Life and Leadership on One of the World's Toughest Yacht Races, Brendan turned a team of ordinary people in an organisation capable of achieving the impossible, racing in the most dangerous waters around the globe and winning the Clipper Race by the largest margin ever achieved.
He did so by creating a no-blame learning environment, where every member of the crew supported each other, and by removing himself from the picture: the paradox of the leader growing his team to the point he simply isn't relevant anymore.
That made it possible for him to save another crew off the coast of Japan, when their skipper was removed due to a bad fracture. He was able to abandon his boat to take charge of the other crew, with complete faith that his crew could endure one of the most dangerous legs in the race, across atrocious ocean weather, without him.
His story is inspiring, a story of illuminated leadership, in a living metaphor of business, but one where life and death are at stake.
In his book: Team Spirit: Life and Leadership on One of the World’s Toughest Yacht Races
While we're on sports, do you know about this olympic rowing team: https://www.willitmaketheboatgofaster.com/who-we-are/the-story-so-far/
Great example of putting purpose first.
“It was like being with a parent that didn’t really want us”, says CEO of GE Appliances, Kevin Nolan. He explained: “The one hope everyone had was that Haier bought us because they wanted us, and we were curious to find out what that would mean”. 4 years later, we visited to find out how GEA was doing. Getting to talk to them was harder than we thought: “Our managers and executives are currently working on the assembly lines.” They are doing what!?
There are many examples of self-management on the Corporate Rebels Bucket List, all of which have very few layers of management, if any, and they are mostly highly successful. So this raises the question “If this is such a good way of organising work, why isn’t everyone doing it?”.
After writing up the business case of NER Group for our Online Academy, I read Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham's classic about their transformation of SRC Holdings, called 'The Great Game of Business'. I was struck by the similarities between the two.