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Leading them through the storm

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Stephen Crane’s circa-1900 short story, The Open Boat, offers a narrative about the importance of caring leadership.

In the story, an injured captain leads his crew in a small lifeboat after the sinking of their ship in frigid winter seas.

The captain offers directions such as, “Keep ’er a little more south, Billie,” or “Take her easy now, boys … Don’t spend yourselves. If we have to run a surf, you’ll need all your strength because we’ll sure have to swim for it. Take your time.”

He offers ideas, such as a makeshift sail to rest the rowers. Crane suggests the captain’s leadership through asides like “the subtle brotherhood of men that was here established … each man felt it warm him.”

Of the four-man crew, the oiler is strongest and healthiest. When the captain attempts a run ashore against the surf, the oiler jumps out, tries swimming to shore alone and drowns. The others stick together under their leader and survive.

— Adapted from Giraffes of Technology: The Making of the 21st Century Leader, Hubert Glover and John Curry, CreateSpace.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Conno Ralfson November 25, 2015 at 4:43 am

Really nice tips. I like it.
Keep posting it.
Thank You.

Reply

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