While relaxing on a recent cruise to Cuba, I started thinking about leadership (I know … I can’t help it). Ever an observer and student of leadership and organizational culture I was struck by lessons that can be learned on both land and sea.
As we left the port on the cruise ship, I positioned myself on the top deck to watch our departure. As we worked our way to the Skyway Bridge at the edge of Tampa Bay, I noticed the ship turning subtly left and right within a path of lighted buoys. Slowly, the ship would veer left, then right, threading its way through the Bay as we headed out to sea. There was great attention to direction and the required turns that led us safely out to the Gulf. The narrow passage under the bridge also required a precise positioning by the captain in order to prevent the cruise ship from hitting the bridge supports. This seemed a strategic process to ensure the safety of the ship and its passengers. Though it may have been something the captain did all the time, it was strategic, subtle and purposeful. I doubt I would have known it was happening had I not been on the deck observing his path. (more…)