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Smooth sailing

During a recent trip to Boston, my business partner @Marc Bucklen invited me to sail with his crew during their weekly Wednesday Regatta. While I have sailed before, I had never participated in an actual race. This took my perspective of a leisurely trip around the harbor to a whole new level.

It was a beautiful day, seas were calm and we had a decent wind, with temperatures in the 80s (very refreshing from the heat wave we have all been experiencing). This sounds perfect… and it was, but it also required a plan to optimize the outcome. We were here to win.

Before the race started, there was the prep work to get ready – checking the lines and the sails (noting a repair that needed to be made), getting the instruments ready, making sure everything was in working order, and of course, stocking the cooler. (This does not do justice to the checklist of items that were actually completed).

Once the crew arrived it was time for pre-game preparation. Assigned roles and responsibilities (I was in charge of writing down the route – very important), strategy on how to navigate the course, the wind, tide schedule, avoiding the ferry that would pass through…. All the external impacts that could negatively affect the outcome of the race without proper planning. And as we tacked back and forth to find the proper position, assessment of the competition.

Then the race starts…. Communication is critical. Everyone must understand and know where to be and when, and how to leverage the advantages. From the outside it might have looked like chaos as we dipped 28 degrees on the starboard side or made the turn and raised the spinnaker, but if you listened and looked closely there was complete trust by every crew member, and they all worked in tandem with a shared vision and outcome.

This crew was efficient, focused, organized, and most importantly they loved what they were doing. The passion and respect for each other while enjoying some freedom on the water was inspiring. And the sunset was an amazing finish to a perfect evening….

Transform your team into an efficient well-oiled machine. Not only will it elevate your productivity, but you will appreciate the time and investment you made to achieve your success.

*Forgive any misused sailing terms – I left the technical aspects of this experience Marc and team. They “know the ropes”.


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