The 1940 film, The Sea Hawk, starred Errol Flynn as an English pirate (Capt. Thorpe—the good guy) who was a “thorn in the side” (understatement) of the we’ll-conquer-the-world Spanish (the bad guys).
Early in the movie, a calm, no-wind day has a Spanish galleon laboring slowly along using captured English sailors pulling at the oars. Capt. Thorpe arrives with his ship the Sea Hawk, but miraculously, the Sea Hawk has wind. He could steer, maneuver, attack, and come-along-side while the Spanish ship is helpless with no wind. By the way, his cannoneers were deadly accurate; the Spanish cannoneers couldn’t hit the broad side of a ship. Guess who won the encounter?
Does it feel like your organization is laboring at the oars instead of sailing in the wind? You can catch the wind if you…
• Have a captain who knows how to navigate the ship. That’s you if you are the leader.
• Have great “first mate.” As organizations grow, the leader needs help.
• Have a well maintained, sea worthy vessel. Your products, vision, strategy, etc., all need to fit the sea state you are sailing in (stormy or calm).
• Have a well-trained, motivated crew who know their stuff and are ready to engage the challenge.
• Have a clear and compelling purpose (save England and the queen, and free the slaves) that inspires everyone.
• Have a bias for action (play offense).
• Have courage and perseverance; don’t run or waiver at the first sign of trouble.
You can learn a lot about life and leadership by watching 1940 movies including how to lead with the wind in your sails. (By the way, guess who got the beautiful girl: Capt. Thorpe or the Spanish captain?)
If this post was interesting and useful, please forward it to a friend.
© Copyright 2017 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner