Leadership at Sea Experience

DSC_1099Over the winter I was fortunate enough to attend Leadership at Sea. This was a three week leadership class that was one week in Des Moines and two weeks in the Bahamas. During this course we studied the situational leadership model and implemented this model while sailing and living on a sailboat in the Bahamas.


Situational leadership is a tasked based leadership model. It teaches you how to work with people when delegating tasks based on the person’s readiness level. For example, if you delegate a task to a person who is not at a high readiness level, there is a more hands-on approach. If a person is at a high readiness level and you delegate a task to them, there is a hands-off approach.¬†In addition to¬†situational leadership, we learned strategies to use when conflict arrises.

What we did

The first week of class was filled with the leadership model and learning about the boat we would be sailing on. The second week of the class was spent on land in the Bahamas. We immersed ourselves in the culture. We met with the Governor General, American Ambassador, Minister of Tourism and did a lot of sightseeing. I learned a lot of the culture and history. In the Bahamas they have a holiday called Junkanoo where they have large parades with beautiful costumes made from tissue paper.

DSC_0937The third week of class was spent aboard the Liberty Clipper, a 125 foot long sail boat. This was our leadership laboratory where we got to use the situational leadership model. As we learned how to sail the boat, we used this task based leadership model to help the rest of the class learn as well.


Besides learning how to run and sail the boat, we also had a lot of fun! The weather was beautiful, we swam, we ate good food,we snorkeled and we all became great friends. It was a wonderful experience that I feel lucky to have gone on.