Who Is On Your Leader Ship?
Have you ever been on board a ship? It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a large cruise liner or a cross channel ferry. The principle is always the same.
The Captain. The captain or master is the ship's highest responsible officer, acting on behalf of the ship's owner. The captain is legally responsible for the day to day affairs of the ship as he is in command. It is his responsibility to ensure that all the departments under him perform legally to the requirements of the ships owner. The Captain represents the owner, or could also BE the owner.
The Chief Officer. He is the head of the deck and second-in-command after the ship's Captain. The chief Officers primary responsibilities are the vessel's cargo operations, its stability, and supervising the deck crew. The Chief Officer is responsible for the safety and security of the ship, as well as the welfare of the crew on board. The chief Officer typically stands the navigation watch with an eye on the horizon. Additional duties include maintenance of the ship. The Chief Officer also trains the crew on various aspects like safety, firefighting, search and rescue, and various other contingencies. The chief officer assumes command of the whole ship in the absence of the Captain.
The Second Officer. The second officer is usually in charge of navigation and is the next licensed position above third officer and below chief officer as third-in-command. The second officer is typically the navigation officer aboard a ship.
Third Officer. The third officer is primarily charged the safety of the ship and crew. The third officer is the next license position onboard the Ship, being fourth-in-command after the captain, first officer, and second officer.
Now let’s look at this in a different way.
Let’s imagine we are not talking about a Ship. Let’s talk about a company. Your Company.
You have a Ship/Company that you want to sail. You launch it and its full steam ahead. Your passengers are your Customers. If they enjoy the trip, and the customer service is excellent then they will book again.
The Captain is YOU! You are the Leader, the CEO. You are the one in overall command of the Ship/Company. You are the one that decides direction and destination. Your Crew/Team will come to you with ideas to make the cruise more enjoyable for the passengers/customers, and will run ideas past you as to new and exciting destinations for you to steer towards. You need a great crew/team and your ability to recruit, mentor, promote and empower your people is the reason your ship/company will be successful. They are the driving force, the lifeblood of your business.
The Chief Officer is your Director. They have the day to day running of the company in mind. The navigation, the speed, the training of your staff, the planning…yes, you are the overall person in charge but you have mentored and coached this person in such a way that when you ‘go ashore’ you are confident that what you would have done if you had been on board is being done while you are not on board.
The Second Officer is your Manager. They maintain and steer your company on the course set by you and your Director. They ensure that you arrive at the relevant port on schedule (your company hits target) and that the seas are navigated in a safe way (your customers have a smooth ride) while keeping an eye out for icebergs (challenges, roadblocks and complaints). They report back regularly and advise you and your Director of the potential difficulties (competition activities, current trends, feedback from customers). They also manage your team directly and monitor their performance. They have targets to reach, staff levels to maintain and results to achieve.
The Third Officer is your HR or Compliance Officer. They are in charge of the safety and compliance with the law of your company and its entire staff. They ensure that the documentation, contracts, employment law and entitlements of all of your staff, and you, are adhered to in a manner that is conducive to all.
A Captain is usually someone who has started out as a sailor and worked their way up thru the ranks to Captain. In doing so, they have a great understanding of how each section, from the Bridge to the Engine Room, works and they could, at any time, step in if disaster happens in ANY of those areas.
A great leader is also someone who can step in at any level because, not only do they have a deep understanding of what the business is and how it runs but they spend time walking around, talking, getting involved and relating to people at all of those levels.
If your Ship is called ‘Leader’ then the only way to ensure your ‘Leader-Ship’ is sailing on calm waters, fully crewed with full capacity of passengers at all times is to not only have a crew that you trust, but to have a crew that trusts you! You are confident that when you 'step ashore' the ship is running EXACTLY as it would if you were on the bridge.
When your crew (and customers) feel safe, feel they can approach you, listen to you, admire you, know that you are decisive and that you are willing to listen to them AND include them because you consider their opinions and ideas relevant, you can sail any sea.