As I sit here in subzero windy temperatures in Chicago; I am thinking back on my Thanksgiving vacation where we went on a Caribbean cruise in which I paid close attention to the crew working on board. It reminded me of my time in the Navy, and while admittingly I didn’t spend as much time on a ship as others, living and working on a ship can teach you much about teamwork that we might not experience in the corporate world.
Trust and getting along is everything
On a ship, you need to trust those around you. In the Navy especially, it could literally mean a matter of life and death, so you need to be able to trust those that you work with. But trust comes from within; you need to exhibit that you are a team player, not one out for yourself, and willing to lend a hand and help those anytime, anywhere around you. Do that, and the same will happen in return.
Pick, and use your resources wisely
On a ship, space is extremely limited. Below is a picture of my “coffin rack” that I had on-board in the Navy. In it, was all my personal belongings; that’s all the space I had. This meant that I had to really scrutinize what I was bringing with me, and make the most of it. We experience the same in our daily personal & professional lives. Resources are limited; really look into all the tools that you have in front of you at your disposal, and figure out a way to make the most of them.
Of course, fun on a Caribbean ship might be a lot funnier then being on a Navy ship! But whether on a ship, or in the office; one of the most important aspects of having a great, successful team is to have fun. If someone is having fun with the work, and those around them, they are more likely to succeed and not leave. Your retention rates will improve, productivity & morale go up, and turnover go down. We must live and work with those around us, so why not make it fun!