Leadership Lessons from Successful Pirates
By Bob Garrow, Ottawa, Ontario
magine that ye be the captain of Get on Board
I a pirate ship. A dashing figure,
an authority figure, someone to
be respected, even feared. Ye be far
Commitment was not great at giving
explanations. She would rather stuff
herself with crackers than explain
out at sea, on a small wooden ship, leadership to swabbies (or speakers).
living among and leading a gang of Get on board means to first find a
cut-throat pirates who hate authority common purpose that yer crew will
figures and who fear no one. agree to and benefit from. With a
Arrrrgh, mates. Are ye a little worried shared purpose agreed upon, ye
about living through yer term as must develop a game plan to fulfill
pirate captain? Perhaps ye should be yer purpose. The earliest pirate cap-
worried. A change in leadership tains crafted a purpose of “stealing
aboard a pirate ship was nothing like and sharing” and handed it down to
following generations of pirates. Each should have gone in the first place).
the leadership changeover in a CAPS
crew then developed its own game Ye choose to chase off after every sail
Chapter. Ex-pirate captains had a
plan to fulfill that purpose. ye see along the coast of the
long swim home!
American colonies. Sailing off in too
On the other hand, ye might have Aye mates, with our game plan in many directions means that ye never
become fabulously wealthy, the next place, every pirate knows what busi- get to where ye wanted to go and
Sir Francis Drake, another Captain ness ye be in and what is expected of never find yer greatest treasures.
Morgan. Ye might have a brand of him, which makes for smooth sailing.
Is it not the same for successful Is it not the same for speakers?
rum named after ye.
speakers? As captains of their own Success requires ye to make an
But hackle me bones, leading pirates businesses, speakers need to know ongoing commitment to implement-
can be tricky! The key is to step live- what business they are really in and ing yer chosen business plan to
ly to build a commitment to a shared why, and to be able to explain their reach yer chosen destination.
purpose and maintain that commit- purpose to others so as to generate
ment day to day. “And ye must share an understanding of what they do Share the Treasures
the treasures as ye sail”. My parrot and why it is important. Every pirate dreams of gold a-jan-
(her name is Commitment) sum- gling in his purse. We invented prof-
marized these timeless leadership Stay the Course it-sharing to share our booty among
principles as follows: our crew members. But shiver me
Imagine it. Ye set sail from Halifax for
• Get on board timbers, we found that that was not
the Grand Banks. Ye find the weath-
• Stay the course enough! We had to share all our
er a bit chilly, change yer mind and
• Share the treasures treasures.
head to the Caribbean (where ye
Leadership Lessons from Successful Pirates... from page 1
Aye mates, we did it. We shared our Update create that reputation through
purpose and planning decisions. mastering the different aspects of
Avast mates, some scurvy dog in
The more we involved our followers speaking, training and consulting,
the 21 century named Joe Sherren,
in making decisions, the more com- and creating unity among the vari-
CSP, just crafted a new treasure
mitted they became to carrying out ous partners in the speaking indus-
map for CAPS speakers. He claims
our plans. We shared recognition, try. Finally, he is saying that ye
that success can be achieved by
praising each new pirate for his must match up what ye have to
pursuing Mastery Through Unity.
efforts and each experienced man offer with yer customers' needs.
Hackle me bones, he says that
for his successes. Finally, we shared
Mastery means knowing yer stuff Hackle me bones, Joe Sherren has
our know-how and skills to
and having relevant experience to got it! Get on board with Joe to
strengthen our crews and help our
talk about. (No mystery there!) build and share the treasures of
individual crew members to grow.
Next he says ye must simplify yer success in speaking by becoming
We learned that the more treasures
message so that people can get it great speakers and building a great
we shared, the more treasures we
into their heads and take it home CAPS brand!
with them. (Of course.) Then he
Now hear me, me hearties, as a says that ye must have the courage ****************************
captain of yer own speaking busi- to lead people to a new and higher
Pirate Captain Bob Garrow brings
ness, ye need to share yer skills, level of understanding. (Yes!)
audiences timeless leadership prin-
knowledge and other treasures with Finally, he says that ye must enter-
ciples from unexpected sources.
yer clients, family members, staff tain in delivering yer thought-pro-
Captain Bob can be reached at
and advisors. The more ye share, voking message. (Great stuff!)
the more successful ye will be.
When he talks about Unity, Master www.pirateleadership.com,
As members of CAPS, ye need to Joe Sherren is saying that CAPS through his Web site and at his
share yer treasures to help others members need to build the CAPS’s home port of Ottawa, Ontario.
to grow their speaking businesses reputation as the source of top-
and build the CAPS brand. notch speakers. He says that ye can