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.
Social capital and social networks are becoming increasingly important in today’s economy at large, and for individuals within organisations. For my MSc dissertation in Organisational Psychology, I researched how newcomers transition into a self-managing organisation (Lee & Edmondson, 2017), an organisation where authority is decentralised and classic manager-subordinate relationships are absent.
It’s all about your people. Now more than ever. But in knee-jerk reactions to the coronavirus many companies are laying off large numbers. I want to shout out to the shareholder-value managers driven by their spreadsheets: “This is not only inhumane. It is bad for your business!”. Why? It will harm your company. Companies that treat their people best in bad times emerged as winners in the past.
"Nothing reveals character like a crisis." We wrote this recently and, as predicted, during the Corona crisis, companies revealed their true colors. Recently, we highlighted the bad. So let's turn to the good, and highlight organizations that not only talk about putting people first, but also walk their talk. Let's applaud those that put their money where their mouth is in difficult times.