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Leadership Lessons From Captain Lee

I admit it- I watch Below Deck. While it’s mostly a crazy reality show with bad behavior by just about everyone on board, there are lessons that can be learned. At the beginning of the season, Captain Lee gathers the crew to review expectations. He always tells them ‘I have two rules. Don’t embarrass yourself and don’t embarrass the boat.’


These are rules to live by – especially in business.


Don’t Embarrass Yourself

At it’s simplest, this means be your best self, always. Strive to accomplish your goals, contribute to the team, and treat others with respect. Don’t get caught up in drama or gossip.


Don’t Embarrass The Boat

So simple. Don’t do anything that tarnishes the company’s reputation. Pay attention to how you are showing up and engaging with others. Consider how customers, vendors, the community, and coworkers experience you.


Your brand is really determined by how others experience you and your company. So, it is imperative that we maintain an awareness of the impact we are having. Everyone in an organization plays an important role in establishing and maintaining a stellar brand. It’s important for the leadership to communicate clearly and consistently about the importance of stepping up and standing out in every interaction. It’s also critical that they walk the talk. Leading by example shows everyone that you are serious and that there are no exceptions. Consider that Captain Lee communicates very clearly and without equivocation what his expectations are. He models the behavior he wants to see in others, and he makes no exceptions. That is leadership in its truest and simplest form.


Remember, someone is always watching, even when you think no one is paying attention. How you are received has a direct impact on how others feel about your company. And it is always easier to be professional than to try to clean up after yourself. So, do yourself and your business a favor. Set the standard, live the standard, share the standard, and expect the standard.


Two simple rules – Don’t embarrass yourself, and don’t embarrass the boat.

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