Today we enter another period of uncertainty.
Many remain unclear what the future holds.
Now more than ever we need compassion.
Now more than ever we need great leaders to step up.
In 2016, a small group of individuals were cast adrift, with only enough food and water for 6 days. Their mission was to recreate one of the greatest survival stories in British history. Their story was made into a documentary for Channel 4, Mutiny
I was cast as the professional skipper. The 60 day voyage gave me some insight and understanding about what people needed to ensure they could thrive during extremely challenging circumstances.
Below are my thoughts which I hope you’ll find useful.
On the 2nd of August 2016, nine people were cast adrift into a small open boat with only enough rations for 6 days. They didn’t know each other and many of them had no prior sailing experience.
In that moment, you need to assimilate quickly a picture of your team. I call this a “Sense of Present”
How is morale?
What makes people tick?
Who are the influencers that can help you get moving quickly?
Some leaders are very good at reading the mood of a room. They can very quickly assess the team dynamics. The can sense how people are feeling. They rely on gut instinct and intuition. They trust their judgement.
When Ernest Shackleton’s boat, Endurance got trapped in the ice, he knew that their survival would come down to a shared sense of belief and a vision that his team could get behind.
Are people excited about the road ahead?
Is everyone onboard?
What do you need to gain commitment?
Why should others follow you?
Both Shackleton (and William Bligh) harboured their own insecurities as leaders, but they knew the importance of instilling self belief in their people and creating a “Sense of Excitement” about the future.
Winning teams and individuals have a real sense of pride in the organisations they work for and it shows in the way they describe what they do.
Creating a “Sense of Belonging” is about having shared values and a culture that enables everyone to feel part of the journey.
As a leader, ask yourself how often do you celebrate as a team.
Does everyone feel part of the journey?
Be very self aware. If you are not authentic people will realise quickly you’re not sincere.
You can’t run a successful venture or business on inspiration alone.
Without a clear “Sense of Performance”, mediocrity sets in and opportunities dwindle.
During the recreation of Mutiny, we needed to average 100 miles per day to ensure our rations and water supplies would last. Some days we did less than 10 miles. Imagine the crew morale, when you realise that unless you pick up the pace, your already tiny food ration will be halved.
What needs to be done to optimise your environment?
How do you create a performance driven culture?
What marginal gains can be made to improve your speed and agility?
We found ourselves in a race for survival with water rations reaching dangerous levels. We stripped everything non-essential from the boat to make it lighter and attempted to row through the night.
In a performance culture, everyone should be able to enjoy the rewards of success.
Giving meaning to your journey is the single most important driver for maintaining a loyal and motivated work force. People will go to extraordinary lengths and put up with almost anything to believe in something. Your job is to simply crystallise this belief and enable others to reach their potential.
The most important brands make us feel something, that’s often because they want to make change happen. They have “Sense of Purpose”. Purpose will help you build a community, it’s your story and it defines the way you operate – your values, your culture.
Your customers will become loyal fans and they will stick with you through the tough times. Your employees will talk about the role they play, their aspirations and what they are doing to make your company the place to be.
In today’s turbulent world, it’s hard to imagine where we will be in the next 6 months, never mind the next few years. It was the same for Captain Bligh’s crew. Their sole focus was to survive each day.
Bligh thought differently.
Whilst he struggled to articulate what the future looked like, he never lost belief that they would reach their destination.
Can you inspire others and lead with enthusiasm despite short term setbacks?
Can you describe what it will feel like when you have arrived?
Can you create a “Sense of Future” that the whole team believes in?
If you’d like to find out more about my Six Sense Leadership workshop please contact me using the form below