Excellence

Excellence Over Perfection

Excellence Over Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist like me, you will know how exhausting it can be, not to mention time-consuming and sometimes just a complete hindrance! In an industry that demands perfection over all else, I’m sure you can relate. However, perfection is often unattainable so you end up losing yourself and becoming a slave to the image society expects while feeling like a failure and not even taking into account all of your achievements. Strive for perfection no more and welcome (drum role please)…..EXCELLENCE! Your new best friend. Excellence gives you back control of your universe, grounding you and highlighting your uniqueness while getting validation for your efforts.

As with any change, it requires some effort at the beginning that will pay off ten-fold in the long term.

Cement your values

Our values often dictate our behaviour so it’s important to truly identify what is important to you. Once you have done this, make sure you keep them easily accessible so that you can revisit them often and keep them at the forefront of your mind. This will enable you to focus on what is truly important to you and where to put your energy.

Don’t be a rebel without a cause

We are all passionate about something whether it’s protecting children’s rights or improving equality in your industry, choose something to weigh in on and fight for. Chances are, you will make a difference no matter how small and your own excellence rating will skyrocket.

Listen to learn and understand

We often listen to respond, not to actually truly hear what someone is saying. Ask questions, gain insight, and be interested not interesting, people often feel a lot more validated if you take an interest in them, rather than talking about yourself or putting your two cents in. Are they telling you something because they want advice, or do they simply want to be heard?  Become a better listener and watch all of your relationships improve.

Follow the cycle

Just as nature has seasons, so do we. Continually striving to reach for the sun and you will get burned. Follow your highly energetic self and observe your slower-moving self. Just as the moon waxes and wanes and the season’s change, embrace these energies within yourself.

Write it down, feel it, meditate

Journaling and mediation are notorious for your well-being, Do them as often as you can. Also give yourself permission to feel, whether it is a positive or negative emotion, make room for both and don’t shove anything away.

Focus on being, not having.

In our modern world we have been taught to define ourselves by what we have and not who we are. By focusing less on consumerism and more on our inherent person we start finding validation from ourselves, thereby increasing our own self-value and excellence!

Reflect

Ask yourself, “Did I give the world my best today?”. If the answer is yes, dig deep and see what motivated you to give your all. If the answer is no, don’t be hard on yourself, try and figure out what set you off balance and how you can find it again tomorrow.

Excellence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectionists have a tendency to always look forward & be extremely hard on themselves and others and generally end up being dissatisfied with a lot of aspects of their life. It’s important to strive to do the best that you can at that specific moment in time with what you have. Excellence is attainable, aim for excellence.

 

 

Captain Chris Durham

M/Y Savannah’s Captain Chris Durham

M/Y Savannah’s Captain Chris Durham

Amongst safety and modern leadership techniques being of high importance to Captain Durham, he is also passionate about developing and supporting a positive, blame-free culture on board.  He believes in the power of the individual and leads by example and through effective communication and motivation to inspire each member of the crew to draw upon their own innate ability to provide an unparalleled guest experience. We were curious as to how Captain Durham arrived at his current position and he was kind enough to enlighten us!

Chris, you’ve had a career in yachting for 14 years so far with some very prestigious yachts under your name, can you tell us a bit about how you got into yachting?

Good question! After Sixth Form College I decided to go travelling and embarked on what turned out to be a two-year trip to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Whilst living on the North Island of New Zealand, I found myself a summer job at the local shipyard in Whangarei as a painter’s labourer and joined the team involved in their main project which was a full repaint of ‘Douce France’, a large sailing catamaran. As I started to get to know a few of the crew, I realised I was very much on the wrong side of the fence. The life of a deckhand and the lure of travelling the world seemed like it would be a lot more fun and adventurous than being stuck in a paint suit longboarding the mast and hull! After six months in New Zealand, I found myself in a non-paid deck position on a small sailing vessel for 4 months which enabled me to gain some miles at sea and build some experience. I then returned home for a short time to complete my STCW before heading off to Florida to find a job on a yacht.

What has been your favourite yacht to work on far?

Apart from my current vessel, it would have to be, the 67m Damen Sea Axe yacht support vessel. We had a fantastic team and a great working environment, and the exposure to a large array of operations and equipment including a Triton submarine, high-tech and rebreather dive set up and a commercial helicopter, not to mention the large tenders, proved to be an invaluable experience. It was a great fleet to be part of.

It seems that creating a blameless culture onboard is very important for you, how do you go about achieving that?

I have worked on many yachts where speaking up has been viewed as throwing someone under the bus. In that type of working environment, it is very hard to evolve or improve. I feel it is so important to learn every day and I find the simplest way to encourage this mindset onboard is to hold regular meetings and always hold a debrief after an operation or event. I do this by encouraging the HODs to sit down with their teams and ask a few simple questions, i.e. What worked well? What didn’t work well? What do we need to change or action to ensure we do not make the same mistakes next time? I believe it is important for every member of the crew to have a voice, and to feel confident about speaking up knowing they will be listened to. This is especially crucial where safety issues are concerned.

Was it always a goal of yours to become a Captain?

Quite early on in my career, I decided I wanted to become an Officer, but the idea of becoming a Captain didn’t come to mind until I had spent some time as Chief officer. On my first yacht, I was very lucky to work with a Chief Officer who guided and mentored me. He handed me a training record book in my first week! He really encouraged and helped me to set goals and targets, which paved the way for me to become an OOW.

What advice would you give someone following the same path?

My advice to someone starting out in the industry would be to acquire as many “superpowers” as possible! The more depth of knowledge and extra skills you arrive with, the more likely you are to choose a good program that puts time and money into training and developing the people they take on. I would advise someone a bit further on in their career to never be afraid to reach out for help. I have several mentors with whom I speak regularly and am also in contact with the client manager from our management company to whom I often reach out for assistance.

What is most important for you when looking for a job?

I think one of the most important considerations for me when looking for a position as a Captain is to find a rotational partner and program which align with my own values and philosophy. Another important factor for me is the itinerary. I find it hard to sit still and love to travel and keep moving.

What changes do you hope to see in the industry in the next 10 years?

I hope to see a professional industry that is more diverse and inclusive and places more importance on the well-being and mental health of the crew. I believe these changes will help to create happier and higher performing teams and crews, which in turn can only equate to an improved guest experience.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Having recently completed the TCA Command and Leadership course I would like to continue to develop my leadership and management skills and am considering going back to school to complete a Masters in this subject.

Captain Chris Durham

With so much ambition and progressive thinking wrapped up in Captain Durham, we can see great contributions coming from him for the future of the yachting industry.

Christie Curphey

Inside Management with Christie Curphey

Inside Management with Christie Curphey

We have been fortunate enough to spend some one-on-one time with Christie Curphey in the work environment (a rare occurrence in our virtual world! ) and she is absolutely lovely! Christie works as  Senior Yacht Management Administrator at Döhle Yachts, one of the industry’s most established yacht management companies. The relationship between management and crew is a very important one as everyone is working towards the goal of making the guest and owners’ experience as smooth as possible. Forming strong, openly communicative relationships are among the best ways to do this, as Christie reveals. We were so excited to get an insight into working with yachts from a management point of view!

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how you became a Senior Yacht Management Administrator?

I was born, grew up and still live on the Isle of Man, which is a little island between England and Ireland that is only 33 miles long and 13 miles wide, but I am very well-travelled, and I have lots of plans to see more of the world now that we can travel more freely again! I started my career in yachting when I left school and it was by accident; I started at a corporate service provider which provided services to yacht owners. Over time, my role grew organically, and I gradually became more involved in the yacht management side. I was then given the opportunity to join Döhle Yachts and its Yacht Finance and Administration team… now here I am!

What are the key responsibilities of a Senior Yacht Management Administrator?

I am the lead contact for the day-to-day yacht management. I spend a lot of my day doing the following:

  • Charter management – i.e. dealing with fiscal representatives, obtaining VAT registrations, charter licences (both in and out of the EU) and negotiating charters between broker and owner to ensure they fit schedules, cruising areas and most importantly at the right fee
  • Ensuring the yacht is complying with the regulations of both flag state and the place in which they are cruising
  • Assisting with the import and export formalities
  • Liaising with Flag in relation to yacht registrations, changes in yacht registrations, and renewals of certificates on board
  • Managing bank accounts and credit cards
  • Insurance claims and renewals
  • Working with owner and crew on budgets
  • And everything in between!
Could you describe what a typical day looks like for you?

Every day is different, and I have no idea what could come my way at any time! Our team process all the payments for the yachts that we manage so that is one thing that I know is certain… payment authorisations!

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your role?

The ever-changing environment that we deal with around the world. COVID was a difficult time for the charter yachts and those on board at the time had many cancellations and postponements. We now have issues with the recent conflicts. This is on top of the changes in rules and regulations that are set by each jurisdiction. It is challenging to keep on top of it all.

What is your favourite part of your role?

I love meeting and building relationships with people, whether that be captain, crew, owner, or broker – I am very much a people person, so the fact I get to spend every day interacting with the most interesting people in the world is amazing!

What kind of vessel is your ‘ideal’ client?

One with a great captain and crew who communicate well with us, so that we can all work together as a team to provide the best possible service to our respective clients.

How important is communication within your role?

Communication is key and we have contact with the majority of the yachts we have under management on a daily basis. I also feel that communication with the family office is just as essential to good management. Yacht owners engage with us for our services to relieve the stress of what owning a yacht brings, so that the owner can enjoy the yacht without any headaches. In order to achieve this, we need to have a clear understanding of where the yacht is, where they are planning to go, who is on board, are they adequately insured, do they comply with flag state and class regulations etc. It really is crucial!

How much of your role involves working with onboard yacht crew?

We are about 50/50 onshore and onboard. Since we deal with a lot of the regulatory and fiscal side of the operations, we spend a lot of time liaising with professionals in these areas, as well as insurance, bank accounts and owner. The rest of the time we spend liaising with crew to ensure operations run smoothly.

Where can you see an area for improvement between the working relationship of onboard crew and yacht management?

It essentially comes down to having a good level of communication with those on board and we try to visit as often as we can to build a personal relationship so that crew feel they are able to raise issues with us. A lot of the time we are the ‘middle-men’ between the crew and the owner, so it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone is safe and happy on board.

What advice would you give experienced crew who are keen to move shoreside and to find work with a yacht management company?

There are so many avenues that you can go down with yacht management which would suit those looking to come onshore. There is finance and administration, technical, maritime compliance, ISM/ISPS, crew employment, and recruitment. You would find that your experience would be extremely beneficial, and your skills would be transferable. There are not many people or industries that service the kind of clients that we do.

I would also say that there are many success stories of those who have come ashore and started their own businesses. If you are particularly good at something and can monetise it, then go for it! Just like the girls at VP who are doing an excellent job.

Christie Curphey

Thanks Christie for your words of wisdom, compliments and insight into the day in the life of yacht management.

The Flag State

The Flag State and the Seafarer

The Flag State and the Seafarer

For those of you that have been in yachting for a while, you’ll know all about the flag states. But for those that need an introduction, this is essentially the ‘nationality’ of the yacht. For example, if it is registered in the Isle of Man, the yacht will be governed by the laws of the Isle of Man, so as you can imagine, it’s a relatively important decision for the owner to make, not to mention the fiscal implications of the country that they choose.

 

The flag state holds a lot of power because it can govern the legislature and regulations that are likely to influence the yacht and international maritime issues. As early as the Roman Greek empire, flag states have played a role, often being selected for protection and benefits for that specific port when it came to trading. Obviously, these days, the more important issues such as regulations, tax and general standards dictate how flag states are chosen.

 

What was once known as “open registers”, which back in the day were chosen for their trading advantages, are now known as “flags of convenience” which are generally laxer with their regulations, standards, and often have sanctions to trade in contrabands and dangerous goods. Additional points that attract ship owners to these registries are the ability to hire crew of any nationality, freedom from tax & fiscal control and the mere simplicity of the registration procedure.

 

However, what’s in the interest of the owner, is not necessarily in the interest of the seafarer. Fortunately, the majority of yachts tend to register with the red ensign group, which is a group of British Shipping Registries which are well known for their high standards and strict adherence to rules and regulations that provide safe work environments for seafarers as well as the protection of the marine environment. SOLAS, the IMO, MARPOL, the STCW and other conventions also contribute to these objectives. The red ensign group, along with any registries of the Paris White List, are registries under which you would be wanting to work. The Paris MoU Annual Report gives an extensive list of registries ranked in order from quality to poor performance flags.

 

With your HOD, Captain and DPA all being points of contact for any contentious issues onboard, the flag state is also responsible for seafarers that are working under its jurisdiction and are not to be ruled out when issues onboard arise. As with their responsibility to protect seafarers, it is then the responsibility of the seafarer to report any incidents to the flag state. Failing to do so not only skews any reporting but also has a knock-on effect on potential flaws in the registration and protection of seafarers in the long term, so it is important to take this responsibility seriously.

 

Flag states are considered to be somewhat of a weak point when it comes to the protection of seafarers. As they are one of the highest authority figures to go to, there is work being conducted to illuminate ways for improvement, however, there is very little action that can be taken to ensure flag states are taking every measure possible to oversee the good of the maritime industry. They like to remain diplomatic with other flag states, and IMO sanctions have many legal and fiscal effects that make them an unattractive solution. Not to mention the numerous different regulations within the commercial sector that they need to oversee which is time-consuming and requires specific expertise, which can be a strain on resources. This brings us back to the point of taking every action as a maritime professional to work together with the authorities towards creating improvements, which includes the reporting of incidents.

 

The Flag State

 

There are many organisations that can also assist seafarers in need and can facilitate communication in difficult circumstances, namely Nautilus International, the PYA, The Seafarers Rights International (SRI) and it’s important to make use of these organisations and the flag states to strive for better conditions in the maritime industry throughout.

Resources:

International Maritime Organization

Paris MOU

Oceanskies

Scholarly Commons

Captain

Captain Khalil Bethel

Captain Khalil Bethel

Khalil Bethel recently accomplished the achievement of a lifetime – he became a Captain. Hailing from the Bahamas, he is a calm and charismatic industry professional with more than eight years of diverse experience in yachting, private, and charter. He is a confident leader and motivator with extensive knowledge of yacht and project management, safety, and financial administration. Khalil gives us insight into his career, his home, and what he hopes for the future.

Khalil, you’ve recently completed your Captaincy, which was your lifelong dream congratulations! Tell us how it feels?

The weight of this type of leadership role is definitely not for the faint of heart, this type of job is both dangerous and/or dangerous if the appropriate amount of care isn’t delivered. And it’s something that goes both ways! You have to take care of yourself as a priority, it allows you to think clearly. Captains are constantly dealing with a myriad of moving parts – navigation, owner/management, weather, crew, budgets etc.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work for and alongside some great individuals.

Give us a brief career history – from where you started to where you are now.

2011 to 2014 I worked on an 80m that did the maximum amount of miles, heli-ops and beach missions as physically possible with a live-aboard owner. I’m very appreciative that I did that because everything after seemed easy! I was fortunate to work under a knowledgeable and tactful Captain along with navigating Officers.

2014 I took a break to recoup and stay around home a bit more. I freelanced as an officer and thought it would increase my experience but sometimes the more frequent the job changes the less likely you are to land that dream job in the future. I managed to figure out that three years is the minimum commitment that I like to give. Enough longevity to be respectful but also enough time to not get settled in too much of a routine. Experience in different places with the right frequency is more valuable to me than seeing someone holding a job for 10 years.

After that, I worked on a very extensively cruising 65m which frequented the Indian Ocean, Asia, and the med for just over three years. I thought it was time to get back to my origin, the Bahamas, and settle into a program that allowed me to be closer to family and friends. There is truly no place like home, especially when you’re from one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

What has been your main driving force in achieving this goal?

My main reason for choosing this path is because I love to learn and I think every captain has a different experience, both in the command position and climbing the ranks. Any day on the water beats any day in the office.

How different do you find the yachting industry now versus when you first started?

Yachting in the 2010s is different than now, in my humble opinion because the work ethic and reasoning behind things have changed. I respect everyone has hopes and dreams but you can’t do something for money or the fairytale factor, it fades away and it doesn’t make you feel fulfilled. I decided to get involved in yachting because it afforded me to travel, meet people in different places, truly experience living in places other than my home and expand on what is valuable out there that I can bring back home.

What do you hope to bring to the yachting industry?

I hope I can pass on a bit of my love for the Bahamas, not just as a tourist destination but as a home for many of us, and as one of the world’s favourite yachting destinations.

What is your favourite destination to sail to and why?

My favourite destination to cruise would be the Bahamas. Purely because it’s a challenge due to how shallow it is and also because it’s technical when you get down to requests from the owner/guests, cellular coverage, provisions, and weather routing!

What developments do you hope to see in the next years in yachting?

I hope to see more healthy decisions in yachting. Do what’s healthy for you (the best you can) – choose the best program, choose to NOT let peer pressure put you into situations you wouldn’t normally agree with, choose to stand up for yourself in the most polite way possible when things aren’t necessarily going your way. In summary, take the good with you and find support to get through whatever life and work bring to you.

Tell us what’s next on the cards for you?

I’m involved with a few community projects in my community and I’m also a dreamer. I hope to become a successful charter captain like those before me whom I learned volumes from. I am forever in their debt and I am forever appreciative.  Thanks to all that came before me – crew agents that took the time and gave me a chance, all the yachties that took the time to hang out, listen or lend a helping hand and especially all the captains that believed I was true to my goal of becoming a part of the gang!

Captain

Kahlil’s passion for yachting is palpable, and his enthusiasm infectious, We can’t wait for another catch-up to see the development and contributions to yachting he has made. Good luck Khalil!

Negative people

How To Deal With Negative People

How to Deal with Negative People

 

Negative people are one of the toughest kinds of people to be around. We all know at least one negative Nancy who always finds something wrong with the world and assumes the worst. The thing is, most of the time, these negative people don’t even know they are being negative. Sometimes, it doesn’t come from a bad place and is just their innate perspective on life. 

Of course, humans naturally experience negative biases. We tend to remember negative events, experiences, comments, and behaviours more often than positive ones. So it takes quite a bit of effort on our part to focus on the positive in things in life and have a more optimistic approach to the world. 

When it comes to dealing with negative people, regardless of what their reason to be negative may be, is detrimental and extremely difficult to deal with. When you let negative people into your life, this can have a profound affect on you mentally and professionally. Not all negative people are toxic, but most often than not, it ends being that way. This is why it’s incredibly important to be protective and selective about who you keep around you, on and off the boat. 

In this article, we’ll talk about 6 different approaches to navigating the negative people in your life how to deal with those Negative Nancy’s in the future. We may not have a choice on how others behave, but we can always control our reaction to it.

Changing the Subject 

If someone is always telling you about the bad things going on in their lives, try shifting the conversation by going after the good.  Ask a question like, “What was the best part of your day today?” or “what are some good things going on in your life right now?” This can immediately shift the person’s mindset in a different direction. By changing the subject, you have a chance to avoid a pessimistic conversation and stop playing into their negativity.  When they see that their negativity isn’t bothering you as they expected, that person will stop trying to drag you down.  You can also try talking about the good things in your life as well. Sure, you can acknowledge that there are things that aren’t all that great, but emphasise the importance of focusing on the good things, too.   Changing the conversation to something more upbeat can open their eyes to see that it’s possible to talk about uplifting topics rather than negative ones. For those who have found comfort in connecting with people by commiserating, the idea that you can also celebrate the positive together might be a new idea.

Say What You Need Up Front

You might find it’s helpful to say what you need from that person before you enter into a conversation with them. It might sound something like this, “I know several things could go wrong with this plan. But it’s not helpful for me to hear about those things right now. When I tell you what I’m doing, I would appreciate hearing some positive things.” Tell people what you hope to gain by sharing your news—maybe it’s a bit of support, empathy, a little cheer, or just simple acknowledgement. It’s all about communication. Not everyone can read your mind. If you want them to be less negative and more positive (neutral, even!) then speak your mind and say what you need. Your voice is important.  You’d be surprised that some people immediately change their tune when you ask them to. Sure, not everyone will be able to do that. However, it’s worth trying.  By communicating and sharing what we need, we could potentially see a more positive side of that person come through. 

They’re Mirroring Themselves

It’s tough to hear negative things all the time. It may even take a serious toll on your mental well-being. But it’s important to remember that someone’s negativity is likely a reflection of how they feel about themselves.  It’s never about you. People’s actions are always a reflection of how they feel internally. The sooner you understand that the quicker you’ll learn to deal with negative people.  Learning to come from a place of understanding, helps make things easier in the long run when dealing with pessimism. Sometimes, all that person really needs is more love in order to stop acting so negatively.  By keeping this in mind, it can help you look at negative comments from a healthy perspective and space. 

Establish Healthy Boundaries

Speaking of healthy perspectives and space, let’s talk about creating boundaries. You might decide that it’s best just to establish some healthy boundaries for yourself. That may look like limiting your interactions with certain individuals or completely cutting that person off. Negative people can exhaust you to your core. While it’s easier said than done, cutting some people off is a way to let go of your hold on negative people and release you from their grip. This could also look like ending conversations when they start to become overly negative. Or keeping people at a certain distance by limiting your exposure to them. That’s okay, too.  You don’t have to tolerate their behaviour.   You may feel bad at first, but remember that this could be the crucial step to moving on. Creating boundaries with people is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Grieving the Relationships You Wish You Had

Of course, none of these things are easy to do when you care about someone. If you have an unsupportive parent or partner who can’t be happy for you, it’s normal to experience grief. It can be extremely difficult once you come to accept that they can’t provide you with the things you need. You might find that you keep wishing they would change which will only leave you more tired, frustrated, and hurt.  Sometimes, it boils down to the fact that you just can’t change a person no matter how hard you try. And it’s not your responsibility to do so either.  While there’s always a chance that they’ll change down the road, you might need to accept them for who they are right now. All you can do is focus on staying positive and keep a healthy perspective on things. 

Negative people

Moving Forward

Hopefully, you do have some supportive people in your life who can be happy for you. If you do, go towards them. Gravitate towards your people. If you don’t, go out and find some. It’s important for all of us to have happy and healthy relationships with people who love seeing us succeed in life and for us to do the same for others.  No matter what, don’t let a negative person change who you are or your outlook on life. Your positivity and optimism is one of the best parts about you so never let someone take that away from you. By having a strong inner world, you’ll be able to navigate through any negativity and drama surrounding you. 

Brainstorming

The Power of Brainstorming

The Power of Brainstorming

What exactly is brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a technique that groups use to find solutions for specific problems. The process begins by gathering new ideas from team members in an open-ended manner; this allows everyone on the table to contribute without fear of whether their idea will be rejected before it’s heard properly. Brainstorming usually includes some core members who take part as leaders, while others may serve more functions like consultants or listeners – but they all work together towards achieving success! They usually only include five core participants at most – just enough so each person doesn’t feel too alone during their time collaborating with others.

Brainstorming was first invented by an advertising executive, Alex F. Osborne coined the term. He wanted to solve his employees’ inability to generate new ideas. He developed team-based methods for problem-solving focused on brainstormers, which led him into hosting these types of sessions where he found out that this approach led to significantly greater quality results than others before it.

Brainstorming tools have become more popular in recent years as businesses seek ways to streamline their processes. Digital platforms allow for rapid note-taking and sharing, which speeds up review sessions tremendously while also reducing errors caused by inaccurate memory recall or lack thereof when it comes down to just one person’s idea at a time before us. A quick search online will show you that there are plenty out on offer today – some even provide templates so all you have left to do is copy-paste.

The idea is to generate as many new suggestions as possible. Once all of these ideas have been collected, a team evaluates them and focuses on the ones that are most likely going to solve your problem for you – this process usually entails some form of critical thinking where each option’s strengths/weaknesses come into play before deciding which one will best suit what needs there.

The Four Principles of Brainstorming

Osborne’s guidelines for running your own sessions can help you produce better ideas and make the most out of every minute:

1. Quantity over Quality

The idea is that, over time and with enough ideas collected in the first stage (collection), quality will eventually result from them being refined together.

2. Withhold Criticism 

Team members should feel comfortable and encouraged in bringing any crazy notion they might’ve had up at work without fear of being blocked by others or feeling like their suggestions won’t make it past the confirmation stage because there’s no judgment on post-collection feedback – everyone has something unique going inside them!

3. Welcome the Crazy Idea

To encourage your team members, you need to open their minds and think outside of the box. Introduce “pie in the sky” ideas that help them see new techniques as well-could be a ticket for success!

4. Combine, Refine, and Improve Ideas 

The final principle asks you to build on ideas, and draw connections between different suggestions to improve and further the problem-solving process.

These brainstorming techniques and processes all aim in helping your team come up with innovative ideas. However, there’s no single way to hold a successful session

The key is finding what works for you. Reverse brainstorming sessions are a great way to generate new ideas and can be helpful, but you must find what works best for your team.

Why is Brainstorming Important?

Brainstorming sessions are a great way for your team to come up with new ideas and find solutions. This is because they allow people from different areas of expertise, as well as those who may not normally work together on projects or tasks before this one – such as customer service representatives helping out produce managers during emergencies – to effectively collaborate towards the same goal: helping you solve whatever problem(s) arises.

Some advantages that come from brainstorming sessions for businesses and individual productivity include:

  • It allows people to think more freely, without fear of judgment.
  • These brainstorming sessions encourage open and ongoing dialogue and collaboration to answer problems and bring about new methods and ideas.
  • Brainstorming helps promote a large number of ideas quickly, which can be refined and merged to create the ideal solution.
  • Brainstorming allows teams to reach conclusions by consensus, leading to a more well-rounded and better-connected path forward.
  • Brainstorming assists team members to feel comfortable bouncing ideas off one another, even outside of a structured session.
  • Brainstorming introduces different perspectives and opens the door to out-of-the-box innovations.
  • Brainstorming helps team members get ideas out of their heads and into the world, where they can be expanded upon, refined, and put into action.
  • Brainstorming is great for team building. No one person has ownership over the results, enabling an absolute team effort.

Brainstorming


Now that we’ve established what brainstorming is and why it’s important, let’s take a look at some examples of scenarios where it would be useful.

The brainstorming technique is a great way for you to generate new ideas when working on your personal or professional life. It can be used in both aspects of our lives, especially if we are trying to solve problems with the help of this method alone! The versatility has made it one popular approach among companies who need more than just their team members’ input – they also take into account other factors such as culture change at the workplace, etc. We hope your next brainstorming session leads to great things!

Daria Biriuzova

Purser Daria Biriuzova

Purser Daria Biriuzova

Daria Biriuzova is a jack of all trades and a master at them too! With her hands in training future yacht crew as well as recruitment, being a mother and a full-time Purser on board, she’s a pro at juggling all of her very full plates! Get a sneak-peek into her journey and life as a yacht Purser.

Could you tell us a little about where you’re from, and how you started in yachting?

I grew up at the seaside, in a small town on the Azov coastline, which is an internal sea with passage to the Atlantic Ocean going through the Black, Marmara,  Aegean, and Mediterranean seas. I began my yachting career working on a 52-meter busy charter yacht. I initially joined as a junior stew, but I was promoted to second stew within a week due to my vast cruise ship and land-based experience in the hospitality industry.

What kind of vessels have you worked on? And what has been your favourite? (Size-wise and why?)

After two years on my first yacht, I knew I was ready to take the next step and became the Chief Stewardess on a busy private 41-meter yacht. Since then I have been Chief Stew on yachts ranging 41-65 meters. My favourite size of the yacht was 40+ because the crew become like family, sharing the same goals and producing unforgettable experiences for owners and charter guests.

What was your journey to becoming a Purser?

Since I had my son, I used to always take seasonal jobs, so I could spend time with him. I have since completed my Purser Course and landed my first job as a Purser directly after I finished. My goal was to get a rotational position where I can utilise my skills and grow professionally but balance that with family life.

What does your daily routine look like?

My daily routine is always hectic with plans changing every minute, as everyone in yachting are all too familiar with! However, the accomplishments of successfully completing any given task drove me through the difficult times of the Covid 19 pandemic.

What is your favourite part of the role?

My favourite part of being a purser is completing a successful crew change. It’s quite challenging nowadays to obtain all necessary permits, visas etc, while crew are waiting on standby to join the vessel; it’s great to see them happy to be back on board.

The Purser role is BUSY, how do you keep your well-being and health in check?

I was quite lucky on board, regardless of busy times I always found time to do yoga and workout sessions during sunrise and sunset, which helped a lot towards maintaining my well-being. It’s difficult but you have to make time for yourself and what you enjoy.

Do you find the time for personal and professional growth or is this something you would like to improve on?

I always find time to improve my skills and knowledge. In my free time, I run courses for entry-level stewardesses in Ukraine, and I am extremely proud to see them all getting in yachting and growing professionally afterward.

Traveling the world I’m sure has been amazing! What has been your favourite destination and why?

I can’t recall how many countries I have visited, but my best yachting experience was in Exumas, Bahamas. Our crew were lucky to spend about a month without guests to enjoy beautiful uninhabited islands.

If you could ensure one positive change for the industry, what would it be?

Yachting is challenging, though absolutely rewarding place to work. Crew should not take it for granted, they should always educate themselves either by self-learning or taking courses to improve their skills.

What’s next for you?

I have now completed two years being a Purser onboard a busy private yacht that was a part of a big fleet based in UAE. I have always had a passion for the South of France, so I have decided to take a small break before moving on land where I can enhance my career and be part of a well-established company within yachting.

Daria Biriuzova

With all of her experience and skills, we see nothing but success in this incredible woman’s future, all the best to you Daria!

Kelly Gordon

Captain Kelly Gordon – Determined To Make a Difference!

Captain Kelly Gordon – Determined To Make a Difference!

Captain Kelly Gordon has been featured in many yachting publications and most recently, and impressively, Business Insider. Hailing from a small farm in Indiana US, she navigated her way from Chemistry professor at a junior college to yacht Captain, which has become her true vocation. She is one of the most positive and inspiring figures in the yachting world, determined to influence positive changes simply by doing what she loves best and setting a true example.

Could you tell us a little about where you’re from, and how you started in yachting?

Ha! The way I grew up was the FURTHEST from anything yachting! I grew up in a little town right smack in Middle America on a small farm. The largest body of water that I knew was the little lake that we would go to during the summer months where my Grandma had a tiny cottage. I have always loved the water, been a swimmer, and loved our little 16′ fish and ski that we had growing up as kids, but that was THE extent of my boat knowledge!

I quit high school when I was 15 to run the farm (where I’m from kids are meant to at that age). I quickly realized and I was determined that I was going to need to make a living another way. I had always wanted to be a veterinarian, so I decided to go to college and obtain my BS in Chemistry in order to apply to vet school. I acquired some welding credits along the way and a little before my chemistry studies, so I utilized that skill to make some extra money during my studies. I also working at the local veterinary clinic to improve my chances of getting into vet school. The first time I applied, I got accepted, that’s quite the feat!

But, young and scared of moving away from home and all that was familiar, and a fear of failure, I chose to quit on my dream. Well, it made perfect sense in my 22-year-old brain to move far away (I thought I could get away from my own disappointment). Little did I know, you are always with yourself wherever you go! So, away I went, to North Carolina! I got my MS in Chemistry and found the ocean and really big boats! Little did I know, those were yachts and this is where it all began!  Specifically, I was invited to a party on board, I was intrigued, and remarked that I could drive this thing, I didn’t even know bow from the stern!

Were you always determined to become a captain?

My journey to captain was not your typical one, by far! Again, I knew nothing about boats, but I was lucky. I was lucky to have found a mentor that recognized my drive, thirst for knowledge, grit, and determination.  And, as I say I was lucky, I sit here and ask myself if it was all luck or it was preparation. I could go on and on about this, but truly, it is preparation. It is being prepared to jump on the opportunity as it arises and, it’s having your eyes wide open as to not miss an opportunity. So, this fella, whom I call my mentor, saw that I was determined, while I saw the opportunity. He took me under his wing and insisted that I spent time in every department of the vessel-the exterior, the interior, the engine room, and obviously the wheelhouse. I did shy away from the galley though and that probably for the best. It was during this time that I was spending in as many areas of the vessel, that my focus never wavered from becoming a captain. And, I did!! And, here I am! The absolute happiest I have ever been!

Who inspires you and why?

This was a tough question, but then again it wasn’t.  Deep within my core, ingrained inspiration comes from my mom.  She has instilled in us kids since we were little bitty that we can do or be anything that we want.  Growing up with that, knowing that, and truly believing that is such an inspiration in itself.  But, now, from day to day, it’s my colleagues and crew members that inspire me.  You might think that it’s the captains that are running huge crews and Megayachts, but not always.  Yes, they are huge inspirations.  They set examples of how I want to grow as a captain and human being for me, but sometimes it’s my mate, my chef, my deck/stew, or my manager that inspires me.

Sometimes, it’s the young people that are looking to me for guidance and help wading through their life and career that inspires me.  Sometimes, they have the simplest, yet best understanding.  Their experience and lack of experience, wisdom, and lack of wisdom inspire me.  Sometimes, it’s my manager getting a little testy when he hears someone else might want to hire me that inspires me or when he sits in a meeting with me when I am exhausted and asks me if I’m ok, that inspires me.  They inspire me to keep growing, to keep chasing my dreams, to keep helping others, and to keep working to be the best damn captain, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, and human being that I possibly can be.

What motivates you?

I’d have to say myself! I can’t hide this! I am a bit of a perfectionist and competitive. But, I have worked to get this to a healthy level, too!  Results also motivate me, tangibles, data, motivate me. Remember, I was a chemist before I was a captain, so if I can attach a result or interpretation of some sort of data to it, it motivates me. Those are the extrinsic motivators though. Perhaps, more important are the intrinsic motivators. This would be growth and growth on many levels-personal, career, emotional, intellectual, etc. And, can I say that I am happy with my performance of the day, the week, the month, etc. If I can, that keeps me going. That motivates me. And, my crew are probably my biggest motivators. They look to me for guidance and to help them grow. That is a HUGE motivator.

As a female captain, have there been any significant barriers in your career?

There definitely has! It’s the obvious elephant in the room –  the fact that I am a woman.  But, I think this is only as much of a barrier as you allow it to be. Actually, this could tie back to the last question as it’s actually a motivator for me. When someone doubts me it just adds fuel to my fire. It gives me the spark that I need to succeed, to keep pushing, and it makes me determined to prove to them I can. I was such a tough little girl and this mindset hasn’t left…my mom might describe it in other ways! Haha. But, really, it’s all in how you perceive your barriers and react to them. For me, they just helped me become all that much more determined!

How do you advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion on board?

Well, I speak out and I speak out to whoever will listen, but I think it’s important to do so in a way that’s tasteful and not off-putting. Heck, the boat I am running now screams diversity!  It is a minority (African American) owned and managed, female ran (me), has a female deckhand that also doubles as a stew, and has interviewed a male steward just last week!  So, I think we advocate for diversity and inclusion by actually doing it! When it comes to equity, we are all equal on board my vessel and I love to share that approach with my colleagues.  I have always told my crew that I never want to hear, “that’s not my job.” We are a team!  My mate does the dishes at night for the girls after dinner service. I buss the tables when they are behind and put the toys away when I need to.  We all share in each other’s responsibilities. That’s how I advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion-we actually do it!

I’m sure there have been many career highlights! Could you tell us one that stands out?

This just might be the toughest question that you have asked me!  I can’t say that there is ONE particular highlight that stands out to me because I find myself having several, small highlights along the way. Actually, they’re big highlights to me and they range from navigational challenges to hearing that I have made an impact in someone else’s life. When I was a baby captain, it was my top to bottom East coast transit. Then it was my crossing and entrance into Cuba when that was allowed, then it was learning to successfully navigate The Bahamas.  After that, it was navigating the river system from top to bottom from Stuart, FL to Milwaukee, WI, a 2000 mile journey in some of the toughest rivers. But, I’d have to say the biggest highlights are when I get messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram saying that I have helped them pursue a goal that they have given up on or that I have inspired them to chase their dreams.

The one that is most recent and keeps creeping back into my mind is when I received a message from a young man on LinkedIn that had listened to one of my interviews.  He said, “You actually made me feel like I have been working with you just through listening to the video as I could understand and relate to you. You are amazing, incredible, and unique, but most importantly you are unaware that you are a true inspiration and in my book, a legend. Keep being the amazing, legendary woman and captain that you are.”  THAT!  That speaks volumes to me. I debated even sharing that comment with you, but that is huge. Moments like this, when I have made a difference in someone’s life, that is a career highlight! But, maybe the biggest highlight of my career is that I am actually doing it, I can actually say that I am a superyacht captain!

How important is personal and professional growth to you?

OMG!!!!!  I am so glad you asked and have been waiting on this question from someone!  Can we dedicate an entire article to this PLEASE!!!!!! I think you can tell just two sentences in that I am HUGE on this!  So, I have a list taped to my wall and the foot of my bed that lists the courses that I need to take in order to advance my license. It is the first thing that I see every morning when I wake up. I put it there intentionally. And, if it’s not a course that I am taking, I read the manuals on the boat when I can. I’ve got to give huge kudos to one of the most brilliant engineers that I know for insisting that I read my manuals, Kevin Dettloff.

Personal growth-that never stops and that is probably more important than professional growth. I am the absolute happiest I have ever been in life and it has taken me 40 years to get here and a load of work and dedication. It is constant work, but it is work that I really enjoy.  Yes, sometimes I encounter challenges and setbacks and they are frustrating/depressing/discouraging, but I have learned to adopt a mindset that allows me to look forward to the growth that will come after I work through that particular challenge. The conversations that we have with ourselves and the way that we treat ourselves are probably more important than any other.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female captains?

Just do it! Don’t let fear get in your way. Ask for help. Don’t hesitate in reaching out to those, man or woman, who have become successful in the industry. Ask lots of questions. Spend as much time on different boats as you can. Take every opportunity that you can and even if it doesn’t turn out as you had hoped you are certain to learn something valuable from it. Find a mentor – you will need it on the days that you feel like you have been kicked in the gut, trust me, it will happen and you will need that outside support. Support the other women in the industry because there are only a few of us at this point.  And, trust your skills, know what you know. I dealt with imposter syndrome for a while and I had to have a TON of conversations with myself to overcome that. Don’t doubt your choices and abilities. Lastly, never stop learning!

Kelly Gordon

Captain Kelly’s enthusiasm and determination are palpable, it’s no wonder she is so influential in the yachting space. She is a testament to the fact that if you follow your passion, all your dreams can come true! A true inspiration, thanks Kelly!

Reticular Activating System

The Reticular Activating System and Your Goals

The Reticular Activating System and Your Goals

Focus…it’s something we are constantly in and out of throughout the day. With the Reticular Activating System (RAS) you may be able to harness this focus more sharply, subconsciously to enable you to achieve your goals with more precision. It’s a very handy way to manage your mental energy so that you can make the most of it.

The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of neurons located in the Reticular Formation in your brainstem. But how does it work? Have you ever thought of buying something, say a red car, and suddenly you’re seeing more red cars and they are everywhere? And then you can’t stop seeing red cars, how did you not notice there were so many red cars on the road before?!

They’ve been there all along but only now has your Reticular Activating System brought this to your attention. This system controls the stimuli you receive and through its processes, motivates you to behave a certain way. You can’t process everything happening around you, so the RAS does this on your behalf, only filtering what is necessary for you! Its job is to automate as much of your behaviour as possible so that you don’t actively have to think about it. When you’re in a noisy environment, trying to have a conversation with a friend, the RAS also blocks out everything else so that you can focus on what your friend is saying.

This is a very powerful thing. If you want to focus on something or remember something specific, you need to bring your RAS into play. Meaning that if you gave a goal in mind, and it’s programmed into your RAS, you will automatically be thinking about it and your actions will be geared towards achieving that goal, without you having to even try that hard. Your choices will automatically steer you towards what you need to achieve your goal.

But how do you engage your RAS to achieve laser focus and connect to your deeper consciousness?

The cool thing about the Reticular Activating System is that it doesn’t know good from bad, it’s like a robot, it only cares about automating and filtering the things that are important to you. For example, if you say “I hate exercise!” it will do everything it can to filter information through to prevent you from having a fitness routine and block out any positive outcomes you’ve had in the past. That’s how powerful it is! So if you say “I really love exercise!”, the same thing, the RAS will start bringing to your consciousness all the positive things that you experience from exercise, and start making it seem easier to get into an exercise routine and stick to it.

Some people call this “the law of attraction” which, it technically is but it’s not magic, it’s right there, inside your brainstem, within your control.

So how can you harness this power? It takes work, I’m not going to lie to you but if you are persistent and dedicated, you will see a difference. A simple way to say it is for you to VISUALISE. We are very visual creatures so use this often! For some, this is easier said than done so try these tips:

  1. Think about exactly what you want. What goal you want to achieve, what situation you want to find yourself in. E.g. I want to buy a nice house.
  2. Now think about how you would achieve that goal or reach that situation. What steps are actively going to get you there. It doesn’t have to be too detailed, just an overall vision. E.g. I need to earn more money but starting a side hustle/getting a better job
  3. This is the fun part: create a mental movie where you see yourself taking those actions and you reaching your ideal goal or situation. This is where details come in. How things sound, how you act, who you encounter, all the sounds, smells, visuals and physical things need to be detail orientated. Once you have your movie, replay it as much as you can when you wake up and you’re having your morning coffee or when you’re drifting off to sleep at night.

Reticular Activating System

We’re not saying that your dreams are going to come true just by replaying a nice movie in your head. But training your Reticular Activating System to motivate your behaviour to steer you towards achieving those goals will. Work hard and keep that laser-sharp focus! Keep thinking about what you want and acting in line with that. You’ll be owning that red car and a nice house in no time!