Have you ever picked up a non-fiction book to read the you have never heard of and don’t know the story? Well, this is something that I enjoy doing occasionally. I like the idea of learning something that I know nothing about.
A few years ago, I read a book about the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and, although I didn’t understand much of the terminology at the beginning, I found the story completely fascinating! This race was a story of danger, survival, teamwork, fear, tragedy, celebration, and overcoming all odds. This yacht race is known as one of the most difficult in the world due to the high winds and difficult seas of the Bass Strait and Tasman Sea.
There is another yacht race that is also extremely difficult. This one is known as the “Everest of the Seas.” It is called the Vendee Globe. It is a 28,000 mile race around the world. You sail around the world, alone, without stopping and without assistance. Out of 138 sailors, only 71 have crossed the finish line. Some have described the experience as “harrowing”. This race has seen some pretty horrific incidents not to mention the physical and emotional toll of guiding a yacht non-stop, in total isolation with little sleep for, on average, 80 days!
So what is the point?? As leaders we are faced daily with difficult circumstances. Sometimes we know exactly what to do, but at other times we have no idea and must look internally for strength or externally for help. Guiding a yacht in difficult seas can teach us a lot about leadership. Guiding a team in difficult moments or owning your role in tough situations are both things a leader must grasp and accept.