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The Shipdriver

  • 20 May 2022 12:32 PM
    Message # 12788023
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the best questions I heard during my Coast Guard career was at a training session before one of my sea tours: “Does the captain need to be the best shipdriver?”  I will let you imagine how that conversation went with a classroom full of some pretty hard over type A personalities.  The instructor allowed the group to stew for a few minutes and then gave a great answer. “No.  But the captain needs to know who the best shipdriver is.”  That response struck a chord then and still does.

    That answer gets to the heart of three related concepts vital to leadership; know your team, train your team, and provide for your team.  This is true for an individual leader or crisis team – knowing your team is critical to success. 

    A crisis team needs to have a high-level, cross-functional understanding of the entire organization and its strategic goals to make the right decisions during a disruptive event.   That fundamental knowledge will form a strong exercise/training program that includes training the crisis team itself.  Training may include tabletop discussions of a disruptive event, it could be helping develop or update resiliency plans, or it could be a full exercise.  During a disruptive event, departments will first ensure their people's safety and then determine what recovery strategies apply to the situation.  A leader or crisis team can be instrumental in accelerating that response by securing a host of resources:

    • ·         helping redeploy people to areas that need assistance
    • ·         ensuring teams have the right equipment to accomplish their business capabilities
    • ·         removing obstacles for team members impacted by a natural disaster

    Even great leaders or leadership teams cannot accomplish that alone, but great leaders know who they can turn to in a crisis – great leaders know who the best shipdriver is before sailing toward shoal water.

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