As yachts get ever larger and regulations increase, the role of a superyacht Captain, Officer, or HOD can seem less about the vessel and crew and more about admin and paperwork. These things are important, but don't let them rob you of your role or your purpose, or the reason you became a Captain in the first place.
The purpose of leadership
Motivating the crew is a vital part of the role. If crew feel valued, they value the job they're doing and are likely to perform better. If they feel inspired they will go the extra mile. To get the best from crew you need to create a positve environment and lead by example. Big or small, every boat has a culture of its own; it's human nature, and it starts at the top.
Those Captains or Officers who hide away in their offices too busy to mix and interact with their crew are missing a trick.
All about the base
We all know the types who first join the industry as a way to earn a quick buck. And we all know the types who are in it for the tips. But that's not most people and it doesn't need to end there. Whatever the reason for joining, everyone responds to feeling valued, and most people are looking for a deeper meaning or purpose somewhere along the line. Good leaders care about their team and they take the time to understand what motivates each individual crewmember, what makes them tick. Encouraging crew and empowering them to be the best they can be is far more effective than barking orders.
All about the crew
Whether your yacht is private or chartered, owners and guests remember the way the crew make them feel. They remember the experience, the fun, the human kindness, the personal detail, not the fixtures and fittings.
Your role as Captain is therefore vital in creating an environment where your crew perform to the best of their ability. Inspirational leaders do this naturally, but there are things we can all learn. Inspirational leaders:
-Don't command a crew, they coach them to success
-Don't manage crew, they empower them to discover solutions themselves
-Don't demand respect, they lead by example and earn it through success and failure
There's no shame in asking 'What's in it for me?', we've all done it, or thought it. But don’t leave your crew guessing. We get out what we put in, so take the time to listen, understand, nurture and inspire your crew to higher levels of achievement and job satisfaction. A happy crew is a well oiled ship and a happy owner.
"Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult." Warren Bennis