Sailing: Nothing Like a Leadership Training on the High Seas

boat out in the sea

Whether you like it or not, you can’t teach swimming by talking alone. You can lecture about it. But unless you put a child or an adult into a pool of water, it’s all for naught. The same holds true for business. Real-life, hands-on training works best.

And no leader may have walked that leadership talk better than Genghis Khan. He’s the 13th-century Mongolian conqueror who built the biggest contiguous empire ever. To train his men, he’d go with them on a hunt for tigers. Divided into groups, part of his men chase the tiger while the other is to encircle and ambush the animal. To be successful in the capture, planning and coordination have to be flawless. Or the task would have slipped through them.

Sailing offers a similar experience. It teaches pre-planning and coordination for you and your team. You may not have to deal with a tiger here. But you better shape up. Or if you’re not careful, the sea is going to teach you lessons the hard way.

The Training Benefits of Sailing

Right off the bat, sailing is good for you. Its health benefits are a-plenty. The act of hoisting sails to get a boat in the right direction can add muscle strength needed for your back and shoulders.

Plus, all the intense activity when sailing means you lower your risk of degenerative diseases. We’re talking about heart disease and hypertension. Best of all, you lower stress levels when sailing as you get introduced to the mesmerizing effects of the sea, its waves, and all the tranquility.

Indeed, sailing’s health benefits are on point. More than that, sailing can give your team the training they deserve.

First up, your team learns the merits of proper planning. When you’re out in the sea, and you don’t have enough provisions, not only will you starve, but you could also be in danger. Dehydration could overcome you, and you lose your mental capacity to perform.

Next, people who sail must learn to adapt to a changing environment. They have to think on their feet. We’re talking about the changing weather and other unforeseen contingencies along the ride. In short, decision-making skills are formed.

Even better, your team’s spirit of teamwork has to be flawless to fight the odds. This is especially true if you set for yourself a destination. Or, for that matter, you get yourself into a race.

Small wonder why business people use boating terms. Expressions like to run a tight ship, to chart the course, and learn the ropes, just to name a few.

Getting Your Team Ready to Be Wet

man on the side of the boat

Perhaps, there’s no businessman today that have promoted the virtues of sailing than billionaire Larry Elisson. The 76-year-old Oracle co-founder who’s worth over $70 billion has competed in the sport of sailing for years now. His business is winning. But he has used that winning culture in his sport. And win he did.

In a stunning upset, The Oracle Team USA, with Elisson at the helm, bested all the other sailing teams to win the 34th America’s Cup. To date, America’s Cup is the most prestigious sailing competition in the world. What’s spectacular about it is he’s using data analytics to win coming from behind.

Of course, should you decide to get your team wet, you need the right boat. Taking time to connect with dealers of quality boats should be top of your list. Know that the right dealer will be a big boost in your journey to the sea. Not only will he show you good options, but he will also be a great source of information to make your trip a success.

A good dealer will get you valuable customer support over time. He will be able to a great guide on your trips. He will even make sure you are connected to the boat manufacturer when necessary.

Realize that the processes that your team will employ once out in the sea define the success of your journey. As you do the sailing more often, you will be able to refine these processes. In effect, you strengthen your team as time goes by.

The business lessons sailing offers is vast. Making the most of it can be a huge way of putting your organization out on top. It’s really about refining your team. Training by lecture has its merits too. But this would pale in comparison to the advantages of real-life sailing experience. So long as you’re willing to engage and get wet, your team’s achievement potential is limitless, just as Genghis Khan did.

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