|Kerry Nolan photo|
I caught this interesting comment from my shipmate Will's blog (a very fine and well-developed one, you can see for yourself here at Tugster). A passerby asked him why the Coast Guard would go through the trouble of maintaining this ancient technology in the face of today's challenges. Will quoted his friend's father, who served aboard, thusly:
"The academy seeks not to train technologists but leaders. Leadership training is what happens on cutter barque Eagle.”
What a breath of fresh air, that notion. Technology and process don't make good sailors, good leadership training does. A sense that you are part of a (pick your metaphor: collective, organism, team, endeavour) creates a sense of comradeship and accountability. Leadership is encouraged, and emerges--yes, there's that 'emergent organisation' notion, but it's true, not just a fad in business books.
To be sure, there are faster, safer, more efficient ways to haul cadets and trainees across the main. However, few are as difficult to sail as a traditionally-rigged vessel, and it's that difficulty that forces people to rise up to the occasion and learn how to work, and how to lead.
|Eagle underway off Bay Ridge. Tugster.wordpress.com photo|
Thanks to shipmates Kerry Nolan (who actually went down to see Eagle at Pier 7 in Brooklyn) and Will Van Dorp who is a ship magnet.