Friday, September 25, 2009

Job Description

A bunch of years ago my sister and her husband, my wife and I chartered a sloop in the Abacos. My sister is fairly amphibious but hadn't done much cruising. The sloop came with a 13 foot glass skiff with a 15 horsepower outboard, perfect for exploring for blue holes and downed drug planes. (We found both, deep in the mangroves of the mysterious Bight of Old Robinson . . . )

I was nominal captain, and I quickly named my sister keeper and captain of the skiff. She hadn't operated an outboard much, but she quickly got the idea and the engine was an easy starter. Operating the boat several times a day she became proficient, and I think her role as boatkeeper added to everyone's enjoyment of the cruise, and was satisfying and fun for her.

Cruising, someone with little experience can easily feel awkward and in the way. Giving him or her a masterable job provides a sense of belonging to the ship. Examples include being the foredeck hand in anchoring (which can include bringing the person into the decision as to where and how to anchor), hoisting and handing foresails (athletic and sometimes exciting, but easily learned), being the breakfast cook, or even being in charge of the bar. The goal is to give the person a particular role, and let him or her take ownership of it.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! And weren't you thoughtful to give me that job way back when. That trip was such a blast - let's do it again!!


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