The helm or steering mechanism of a ship adjusts the angle of the rudder, in turn, changes the direction of the ship.  In the 18th century as technology increased ships began to increase in size.  While this growth was advantageous, at the same time the ships became increasingly difficult to control.  Thus a shipmaster needed an invention to foster technical growth but at the same time keep the ship on course.  Today’s steering wheel was designed to connect to the tiller of the boat, with a block and tackle.  This addition provided a considerable increase in the ship’s mechanical capabilities and resulted in smoother operations with less effort.

I relate this story of the steering wheel because the national and world economy is going through some stormy waters.  Although the changes going may turn out to be good in the long run, it is still difficult to stay the course in the middle of these “troubled water”.  More than ever we need strong leaders to step up and take the “helm”, provide guidance, and “steer” their teams in the right direction.

A strong leader will effectively partner with each employee and provide direction, guidance, and coaching.  He or she can help team member adjust their personal courses and move into “smooth water”.

Providing constant support takes a lot of effort but it will be worth it in the long run. Consider the following points when helping your team stay afloat:

  • Communicating frequently with each team member

– Will reduce or eliminate fear of the unknown
– Encourages confidence in individual performance

  • Building understanding within your team

– Instills ownership in the tasks to ensure success
– Keeps each person focused on the goal

  • Encouraging respect between members.

– Promotes synergy
– Supports a relaxed and engaging environment

  • Maintaining your integrity

– Retains trust in you and the organization high
– Inspires integrity from team members

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required.”
-Winston Churchill

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About the Author
Chris Stowell
Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.

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