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Mandy Mulder sailed with Coen de Koning the Olympics in a catamaran. It’s the fastest boat that is literally flying downwind. It’s very hard to sail and you need to trust each other completely if you want to sail it fast around the cans. As you see in the picture above you need to act quickly if you don’t want to put a hole in your competitors’ boat.

Upwind Mandy is the captain and decides in what direction to steer the boat. Downwind Coen has a better overview and Mandy needs to focus on steering to prevent going head over heels. So he is the captain and shows the way, while she is steering.

This boat is so complex to sail that you need to change leadership depending on the course you’re sailing. Interesting isn’t it? How is that for organizations in our VUCA world? Do we need to change leadership depending on the market? How could that look like? Maybe self-management that’s gaining track more and more? The professionals in the lead? The Semler approach? Introduce Agile and Scrum?

In the catamaran, they shared the responsibilities equally and felt fully committed to realize their dream of winning that golden medal. But they didn’t win. What was missing?

We’ve been talking about it this morning and I’ll share the insights in my forthcoming book ‘Passie voor Presteren’. Part of the answer is that it’s hard to see the bigger picture if you don’t have a full-time coach supporting you.

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