Monday, 19 October 2009

The power of really being in it together

Why would anyone choose the most uncomfortable sleepless way to travel?

I ought to know because that’s what I and maybe a thousand others are doing this weekend in the Coastal Classic (an overnight coastal sailboat race from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands  New Zealand).

I’m crewing on the precocious 29 foot sloop High Spirits. We’ll be awake for between 16 and 20 hours sailing hard all day and through the night, sleeping tethered on the rail to add our weight to windward.

The last couple of times I sailed this race on a 50 footer in three watches – actually slept in a bunk for four hours. Last year the weather was atrocious and half the fleet of a couple of hundred craft turned back. Everyone was seasick.

Nevertheless this year I turned down a berth of the 50 footer for more  risk and more discomfort!

It just goes to show what some people will do for a challenge: together pitting themselves against the elements; the chance of winning (even with a tough handicap).

The crew have been sailing together all winter and invested in extra safety equipment and gear. We each have our roles and they overlap. We’re dependent on each other for our safety and for success. 

Yet many business managers persistently assume that money is the main motivator and people do nothing unless pushed.

Never underestimate the human imperative to do  good things together.

1 comment:

  1. Good Story Steve. I can understand why a team accepts challenge that push their limits. It is all about living life and there is nothing more satisfying than being physically challenged and part of a successful team of people.