Into the Storm

Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race

 Into the Storm

Author: Dennis N.T. Perkins
Pub Date: November 2012
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814431986
Page Count: 288
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814431603

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What Workplace Teams Can Learn from Ocean Racing

A Metaphor for Success in the Rough Waters of Today’s Business Climate

Forget images of wealthy yacht owners and regattas. Ocean racing is a demanding sport for serious sailors. “The demands placed on a crew of ocean racers are strikingly similar to those faced by any team working to overcome tough challenges,” notes Dennis Perkins, author of INTO THE STORM: Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race (AMACOM 2012). “And I believe that, by understanding the things that make ocean racers successful, we can draw useful insights for a broad range of team challenges.”

To understand why the metaphor of ocean racing applies to any team facing challenges and uncertainty, consider these core characteristics of the sport:

* Ocean racing is a complex team endeavor. Every crew member has a critical job to do. And crew members have to work together, seamlessly, to keep the boat on course.

* Ocean racing is a test of endurance and tenacity involving a journey into the unknown.

* During races of long distance and well offshore, boats must be completely self-sufficient for extended periods of time, capable of withstanding heavy storms, and prepared to handle emergencies.

* Like today’s business environment, ocean racing is characterized by constant change. The weather can be sunny one minute, and gusting with gale force winds the next.

* Ocean racing is competitive, stressful, and anxiety-provoking.

* While there is still a skipper in charge of the boat, leadership can be distributed among other members of the crew.

* A team that fails to execute flawlessly can lose a race. There are winners and losers in the sport.

* Ocean racing requires the courage to take calculated risks.

* Winning an ocean race requires clear vision, a cohesive and committed team, and the ability to learn and adapt.

Adapted from INTO THE STORM: Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race by Dennis N.T. Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy (AMACOM 2012).

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