Time to Thrive

From the Desk of Caspar

The foundations for making anything happen as a leader starts with what you give permission to influence you.

Who you spend time, what you scroll through, read and watch.

Nothing has a greater impact than your environment around you.

Take a moment to notice what you are allowing into your world.

Why not find a quiet 10 minutes.

Get a pen and paper.

Scribble down who and what you allow to influence you.

Then think if it’s helping you move towards where you want to go.

Who or what can you “dial up” and spend more time with.

Who or what can you “dial down” and spend less time with you,

Your influences are choices that you make.

Have an awesome week everyone.

In the spotlight

It’s been a glorious few weeks in England with summer definitely on the way. Columbus, my son and I have been busy with gardening.

Tip: don’t forget to switch off your devices, get outside and enjoy time with family and friends.

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Three things I learnt that changed everything

It was a reasonably rare occurrence. Rare that we’d all headed away for the half term week with my wife and the children. It wasn’t anything grand. A week staying with my Dad at his home. I’d wrestled myself away from the business. Everything was set to be ok without me for those 4 working days.

It was then that I had the phone call.

It was the Tuesday morning after bank holiday Monday. One of my clients was set up to renew their annual contract with us. It was worth 22k to the business and was a chunk of the sales pipeline for that month. The boss of our client contact had pulled up our contract and was questioning the value.

Did they really need to use our services? What value was it adding? These were not questions we wanted when we’d put so much work in and from someone who didn’t know anything about the deal was now asking. We’d have to start again with the “boss" from scratch. My week away with the family now in tatters. We’d have to go through the whole pitch process again with the boss and take them through what we’d done, what we’d achieved and what we were going to do.

That day “on the beach with the kids” was now taken up with calls with my team, presentations and data back and forth getting us ready and lining up the call with the “boss”.

The following day I had the call.

My wife and the kids were at home and playing. I decamped to the nearby town and found a coffee shop. With my headphones on and trying to blank out the noise of the teenagers meeting there, I made the call. I *think* it went well. The “boss” didn’t really give me a clear answer. She had to go and discuss with the team. They’d get back to me next week. There was not much else I could do. Get back to the family and try to get back in the swing of the half term. All the time with the deal at the back of my mind.

Would the deal get signed off?

If it didn’t cash flow would be tight. We’d have to cut our already thin salary to make sure we could pay the rest of the team. The life of the entrepreneur. My life. As it was.

It wasn’t until later after more painful experiences like like that I learnt my lesson. It was to build the business that didn’t rely on me.

One where we had a strong product, a strong pipeline of prospects and a brilliant team of people.

I thought that business was meant to be hard. The type of thing you see on Dragons Den. The type of thing you see Gary Vee talking about and hustling. 

That was the blueprint I had.

If you’ve got that blueprint too, here’s the three things that I started to do differently that changed everything:

  1. Truly put family first. Work out what you want to do as a family together and make that the burning focus in our lives. Rather than work.
  2. Be Brave. Surrounded myself with people way better than me, learn voraciously and try lots of different things to find out what worked best.
  3. Realise it wasn’t about me. It was about we and building a rock star team all around me.

That was it.

That was the blueprint that shifted it all.

What blueprint are you working to in your business and life?

Happy half term week everyone.

P.S. We did close that 22k deal the week after we got back

The #1 International Best Seller

I’m delighted to share that Where The Magic Happens is now an International #1 Amazon Best Seller in a variety of categories and has been attracting a slew of 5 star Amazon Reviews (29 at the last count).

My favourite quotes from the reviews…

“a fabulous book for any manager in business as it gives a really refreshing perspective on defining purpose, and team work, and developing and living values, and tips on developing strategy and overcoming adversity”

“This book arrived on Saturday am - and it took up all my free time until I finished it on Monday evening. At first glance, you think it's going to be a heart-warming tale about a family coping with all matter of adventure and adversity sailing round the world. And for those, looking for that, you won't be disappointed. 

But it also cuts far deeper. The lessons shared are relatable to business and family - and will inspire and compel you to make changes. I'm an avid reader of business books, and yet, this story has compelled me in a very short time to take more action than many I read” 

“I expected this book to be a journal about the voyage but it was so much more - inspirational and thought provoking, and made me sit up and really think about purpose and the art of the possible . It proves that if you dream a little bit then show real grit and determination you can do just about anything . Highly recommended”

Read the full set of reviews here »

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Be a Better Leader

Thrive

Want to make more things happen in your life?

Be the leader. Anyone can be a leader. it's a mindset. Not a title.

Here's my two pennies on why the best businesses and leaders act like families:

Thought for the Day

"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to methose have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

- Henry James

Upcoming Events

June 5th - Live on Steve Wright BBC Radio 2

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 16th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 27th - After Dinner Speaker London

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

July 14-17th - NSA Convention, Dallas

August - The next sailing adventure…

I was recently introduced to Caspar through a mutual friend and was intrigued and inspired by his story and thinking around leadership.

Caspar was an obvious choice to deliver a key note speech at the Node4 Annual Sales Kick Off and I am really pleased to say that Caspar certainly delivered beyond my high expectations.

Caspar has a very natural style, and the way he distils key leadership principles from both his professional and round the world sailing experiences, makes it very easy to translate into practical leadership tools that are applicable in any situation.

I would certainly recommend Caspar and would certainly use Caspar again for key notes speeches.
— Tom Needs - COO Node 4

Stop

From the Desk of Caspar

Stop! ... And look up.

I was racing through Trafalgar Square this morning between meetings and caught myself.

It’s so easy to canter through everything focused on goals and being busy.

Life is all around us.

Take 2 mins. Even if it’s just to notice the sunshine, the birds tweeting, the smell of the freshly cut grass.

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In the spotlight

It's UK Book Launch of Where the Magic Happens, the story of how we as a family transformed our world to sail around the world.

The Daily Express ran this feature on our story this week.

The headline: Lots of people said we were mad.

When you come up with a brave bold plan for your life and your family.

Here's what happens.

People will tell you that you are mad.

Here's the thing though.

The people best qualified to do the research and come to your own conclusions are you.

Dream big.

Be bold.

Be Brave.

Don't let anyone else's limiting beliefs be the reason you don't follow what is most important to you and your family.

Imagine your future.

Then go make it happen.

Here’s the takeway…

It's all about putting family first and then getting your work, career and business goals to align to family life.

The surprising lesson I learnt from a Venture Capitalist

Several years ago I had supper with Jon Moulton.

He’s a Venture Capitalist. One of the UK’s top ones.

He said he asked any entrepreneur pitching him for investment three questions.

  1. What business are you really in.
  2. What do you need the money for.
  3. 3How many times have you been divorced?

The first two are certainly killer questions and drill to the heart of any fundraising.

The third goes to the heart of the people fund raising.

How good are you at balancing relationships and business.

His rationale.

If you chop and change relationships, that doesn’t bode well for a business relationship either.

It’s a red flag.

So many entrepreneurs I see get it wrong.

They sacrifice everything to create money.

What are you going to do with all that money?

Who are going to spend it on?

Relationships and family come first.

Of course work hard.

But keep your relationships in tact.

For me.

That is the number 1 thing. Everything pivots off that.

Put family and relationship goals first.

And THEN build the business that serves those needs.

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Be a Better Leader

Family First to Thrive

Do you wait to achieve success in business and your career before prioritising family? If so, you need to watch this 1 minute video:

Thought for the Day

"The grass always grows more when it gets water and sunshine."

Upcoming Events

May 17th - UK Book Launch

May 24th - Keynote, London

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 16th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August - The next sailing adventure…

We invited Caspar to speak at The Magnetic Latvia Business Forum in Riga.

More than 500 people attended this event and everyone loved him!

His Keynote was outstanding.
— Agnese Žagata - Business conference organiser

Don't wait for perfect

Why?

It all kicked off on March 21st 2017. That was the date the ink was drying on my book contract for “Where the Magic Happens” when Bloomsbury (who publish Harry Potter) decided they wanted to have a little bit of our magic.

It’s been a roller coaster of a year of a thousand edits back and forth and I couldn’t be more excited that after our US launch, we now launch in the UK on May 17th.

Its often said we all have a book inside us. 

That I believe is true. 

We all have our unique stores to share.

The question then is “Why?” share the story. Whats the purpose of it?

Having a strong reason “Why” is the foundation for any venture, business, a book, a family adventure, a mission, anything.

It’s not always obvious and some times takes a little uncovering.

It was a key thing I needed to put in place in my businesses. A purpose that everyone could buy into.

It was a key thing that I needed to put in place for my family? Why were we working so hard to make our plans come together.

And it was a key thing I needed to put in place for writing “Where the Magic Happens”.

In my case, it was inspired by my friend Kate who said “Write the book that inspires people no matter how big or small their dream, no matter where they are in the world. Write the book that both inspires them and gives them real solid practical advice on how to make it happen”.

That’s been my pole star; my Why.

It’s a book about living with purpose, about putting family first and then making things happen in your world.

I’m very grateful that from the first 6 reviews on Amazon , it seems to be hitting the mark.

Here’s the key takeaway:

Are you living purposefully?

What’s your Why?

  • For you as an individual.
  • For you as a family team.
  • For you in the business or team you work with.

Answering the Why question is fundamental to how we all live our lives and make the most of our time in this world.

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

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Whilst I’ve been away in the States, my son Columbus has been busy getting his next venture underway . The rhubarb crop has gone nuts. 

It’s amazing what a little sunshine, water and some care and attention delivers.

Much like people really; we develop in those areas we give the most attention.

 

In the spotlight

CNN.com ran this feature on our story this week.

We shared the front page along with the incendiary story about Michelle Wolf and Donald Trumps administration.

Thankfully ours was less contentious.

Its also helped to maintain our Amazon rankings where in America we’ve been consistently the #1 Hot New Release in at least 3 separate categories for the past month.

7 things I learnt about publishing a book

Publishing a book has been an entire adventure on its own. I wrote a blog post about what I learnt for the Business of Adventure run by the brilliant Cathy O’Dowd.

It wasn’t my first book. But it was what I call my first “thorough" book. I now fully appreciate what it takes to publish a book.

I’ve done both routes. The first time self-publishing. The second time with Bloomsbury.

When I self-published I wrote the book over several weeks (it was a business book about Crowd Funding). It got onto Amazon and I had great reviews and sold some copies. It gave me the “business card” effect of being an “author”.

The second time round, I went through the whole agent and publisher route. Based on what I learnt this time round, I've taken that first book down. 

Here’s what I learnt »

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It’s now gearing up for the UK Launch on May 17th when the Kindle Edition and the Audiobook also get released. You can pre-order yours here:

Be a  Better Leader: Don't wait for Perfect

Do you wait for things to be perfect before you can forward? If so, you need to watch this 1 minute video:

Thought for the Day

"Find your strengths. Build on them."

Upcoming Adventures

May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK

May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

May 17th - UK Book Launch

May 24th - Keynote, London

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August - The next sailing adventure…

 

I’ve listened to more speakers than is probably healthy on the subject of “Building a Winning Team” - so when I saw this as subject for a session by Caspar my blood didn’t boil in anticipation.

As a speaker myself I know that most of us have content we want to deliver and we look for stories to humanise them.

Nothing wrong with that - standard practice. What lifts Caspar module is that he tells an ongoing story - an amazing real life story - from which leadership principles emerge naturally.

You’re not being ‘presented to’ or ‘talked at,’ you’re being told a story and learning from it as you go along. Caspar thinks of himself as a Speaker, he’s more that that, he’s an extraordinary story teller.
— Chris Hughes - Chairman, VIstage UK

Are you a manager or a leader, The Bystander Effect and Woof Reviews

The Bystander Effect

I was in Annapolis in Maryland three weeks ago at the start of my book tour.

It was just after 9am. 

I’d just crossed the road and was walking down the street.

I was stopped in my tracks by a large noise.

I spun round and saw a person flying through the air. A car had skidded to a halt.

I was less than 30 metres away.

There were two people standing closer than I was.

I immediately had two conflicting reactions.

One was "there are other people there. They can handle this” And besides I’m catching a bus to New York in less than two hours and I still have a list of things to do.

The other was “my goodness some person is hurt. They need help”.

I reasoned with myself for a split second.

I remembered I’d trained as a ships doctor and had more medical knowledge than most.

Of course I had to go and help. There was no other option. It was quite simply the right thing to do. The only thing to do.

I’d attended Hero Round Table as a speaker last year and I’d recalled Ari Kohen (Professor of Political Science at Nebraska University) talking about the Bystander Effect. Where everyone stands around assuming someone else will handle things. And no one at all does anything. There are many such tragic documented cases.

As I got closer, the windscreen was smashed and the man was lying in the middle of the road. Teeth smashed in, blood running down the side of his neck. Clearly not in a good way.

No one was doing anything.

I knelt a foot or so away from the guys head and asked if he could hear me.

I asked several times before he replied.

I reassured him he’d be ok and asked his name.

He told me.

I looked to the guy standing to my left. 

You sir in the red jacket, please can you call 911.

I carried on talking to the guy.

He asked if I could call his Dad. 

I got the number and asked the red jacket to call his Dad while I continued to talk to him and re-assure him.

Within a few minutes the paramedics arrived and took over.

Did I do anything medical?

No.

I simply reassured him. I can only imagine he’d be absolutely terrified. 

That and making sure that the emergency services were being called.

Why do I share this?

In case you are ever in a situation like this, don’t be a bystander. 

You don’t need to be medically trained. 

I didn’t use any of my training.

I simply reassured the guy and made sure the emergency services were called.

Don’t be the bystander and assume someone else will do this. Evidence abounds that we assume that others will step in and reality shows that so often someone doesn’t.

(Only sharing this now as it's taken me a while to process it and I was reminded of the Hero Round Table training from Matt Langdon as their next event takes place in San Francisco this week).

Here’s the key takeaway

In your business, in life, in everything, don’t assume someone else will do something. Being a leader means being the person to step in. 

Woof Reviews

Amongst all the reviews I’ve been getting for my book, this one made me smile the most.

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Trooper voted “Where the Magic Happens” was a woofing good read. And fell asleep on it.

My three week American book tour ended yesterday after a brilliant time both on the East and West coast. Lots of media picked it up with the likes of the New York Post and WGN Morning News in Chicago doing a 6 minute live interview with me as well as lots of podcasts and sailing press. 

We’ve consistently been ranked #1 Hot New Amazon release over the past 3 weeks in a variety of categories and lovely reviews have been flowing in.

The final event in San Francisco was at the Book Passage where it was fun to be centre stage and flanked by details of Obama’s new book and a book on the American Cuban underworld.

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It’s now gearing up for the UK Launch on May 17th when the Kindle Edition and the Audiobook also get released. You can order it here.

Are you a manager or a leader?

Thought of the day
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Upcoming Adventures

April 18th - Keynote in Bristol, UK

April 19th - Keynote in Northampton, UK

May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK

May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 6th - Keynote - Guildford, UK

June 13-14th - Keynote - Boston, MA

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

August - The next sailing adventure…

This was one of the most fascinating interviews I think I’ve ever done. Caspar literally blew my mind and compelled me to set new standards for myself, my family, and my businesses.

— Kylon Gienger, Founder - SuccesfulDropout.com

Diversity of Thought, Snow in New York and Book Launches

Diversity of thought

Have you ever noticed that you read, watch and follow the same things week in, week out?

I did.

What that means is that you are at risk of not having diversity of thought. Of being exposed to different ideas. Different viewpoints.

Something made me rethink that this week. Or rather someone.

I had the privilege of having supper with Sir Tim Smit. He founded the Eden Project, a stunning ecological project in South West England.

Here’s a couple of the rules he has in his business.

Every month you have to read a book selected by your peers as being exactly the sort of book that you wouldn’t read.

Ditto for films watched and going to plays.

It’s brilliantly simple. It takes you out of your normal bubble and exposes you to different ideas.

I’m challenging myself and our family team and doing the same thing. Letting Nichola my wife and the kids suggest things for me. And me for them.

Here’s why I think is so important. We increasingly get personalised media channels based on our preferences and previous likes. We cannot help but be influenced by what we engage with.

Unless we encourage diversity of thought our worlds will simply get smaller and it becomes harder to appreciate the perspectives of different people.

It’s also good for business. It just helps you understand other people better rather than being entrenched in your own views.

Right. I’m off to read some science fiction. Something I’ve never done before.

Here’s the key takeaway:

Keep your ideas and influences fresh. Think about feeding your brain different ideas and approaches to maintain diversity of thought.

Snow in New York

Having thought I’d done a cheeky number on the UK and escaped to the USA for some warmer weather, it only went and decided to snow in New York.

As they say: There is no such thing as the wrong weather. Just the wrong clothes.

Wishing now I’d packed for colder weather.

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Launching a Book

It’s been a roller coaster of a journey launching a book. The book tour has taken me so far around the East Coast of the USA. New York has been my home for the past week as we’ve hit a variety of Amazon #1 rankings and been featured in the New York Post, the Daily Mail and a host of podcasts with excellent hosts and a slew of sailing press.

Here’s been one of my favourite podcasts on leadership, with Dov Baron whose show is the #1 rated leadership podcast for Fortune 500 Executives.

It’s been fun doing book signings in Annapolis and New York and hanging out at the Amazon physical book store (isn’t that ironic!).

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More online and TV coverage to come as we head to the West Coast of the USA.

If for some reason, you've missed the link for how to get it on Amazon, its here :)

Alongside doing book launch things, its been great to hang out on Wall Street, see the Statue of Liberty, be moved at Ground Zero and inspired at the Guggenheim Museum.

Be a Better Leader

Remember that you are running your own race. Look for how you can improve you and help your team every single day. With a little bit of inspiration from Madison Square Garden.

Thought for the day:

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Caspar Craven has been inspiring business leaders ever since he returned from sailing around the world with his wife and three small children.
— The Director Magazine

Coming to America, Learning from my children, Annie Lennox and more.....

Coming to America

I couldn’t be more excited that I’m flying to America this Friday for the launch of my book “Where The Magic Happens”. I’ve got a 3 week long book tour starting in Annapolis, then Washington DC, New York and San Francisco (and potentially a few other locations too).

If you’ve not pre-ordered your copy - either in Hard Back, Kindle version or Audiobook (read by me), then now would be the perfect time :). It’s got plenty of colour images and the first critics reviews in have been very kind and lovely to read.

The pre-order Amazon link is here:

Some companies have been placing large orders for their teams. Maybe your company would like to do this too?

If you’re in any of those locations between March 24 and April 14, it would be brilliant to connect.

Learning from my children

We sat round the dinner table last night listening to our children sharing what they’d learnt at school.

My oldest daughter talked about gymnastics and dance.

My son talked about science.

It made me think about each child and how they are all uniquely different.

Several days earlier I’d watched for the umpteenth time the humorous and memorable Sir Ken Robinson talk on why schools are killing creativity. His take is that we need to encourage each child to follow their natural skills and talents.

Why is this advice just for our children?

Isn’t it good advice for us all?

As we watched my two daughters dancing their version of the Charleston after dinner, it made me smile seeing them totally in their element.

Here’s the key takeaway

When was the last time you questioned whether you are fully using your natural skills and talents. The things you love doing. Even if its just for 5 minutes a day, finding that thing that lights you up.

 

This made me smile…Sweet Dreams ..(are made of these)

It’s almost as though Annie Lennox wrote these lyrics for us..

“Sweet dreams are made of these…I travel the world and the seven seas”

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Learning Emotional Resilience

Joe de Sena, Founder of spartan.com interviewed Caspar for his podcast which went live this week and has already been watched 40,000 times on YouTube.

Here’s what Joe said…

Would you leave everything to sail the world?  Caspar Craven did...twice! In this week's podcast, we discuss how sailing the high seas taught Caspar and his family emotional resilience and how you can learn it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqjvrfY-Kho&t=54s

Be a better leader

Why do you do it?

Leadership tip of the week - it’s all about finding personal purpose and why its important to help your team find their personal purpose.

 

Thought for the day

“We thrive when we gaze deeply into the future ...so we can continue to invent in behalf of customers before they ask”

Words that form part of the DNA at Audible (owned by Amazon).

 

Adventures

I'll be speaking in these locations. Get in touch if you're around you'd like to meet for a coffee.

March 24th Annapolis, MD - WCC After Dinner Speaker

March 27th - April 13th - Various in the USA for the Book Launch of Where the Magic Happens covering Washington DC, New York and San Francisco

April 14th San Francisco, CA - The Book Passage

April 18th - Keynote in Bristol, UK

April 19th - Keynote in Northampton, UK

May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK

May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

June 21st - Leadership Masterclass in London, UK

June 30th - Guest Speaker, Plymouth

July 12-13th - Keynote Speaker, Malta

 

I listened to Caspar yesterday as he outlined his journey around the world by yacht, with his very young family. Everything from the concept, planning and execution.

Wow! His story was inspiring. Delivered with great passion, humility and openness. He captured the imagination of the audience, and translated his journey into a series of credible and recognisable business messages. Absolute pleasure to listen him and to learn from him.

Thank you Caspar.
— Mike Blackburn OBE - Chairman at Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

Slow Down. What my 5 year-old daughter reminded me about leadership

From Caspar's Chart Table

My 5 year old recently reminded me what leadership is all about.

She had a friend over for a playdate. Her friend was struggling to understand how to play a game (it was Cat Bingo). She stopped what she was doing. She went to understand where he was stuck and to help him.

Isn’t that the key attribute of leaders?

To show empathy.
To understand those around you. 
To help others develop.
Leadership isn’t a title.
It’s something you live by virtue of your actions.

It doesn’t matter if you are 5, 35 or 75.

Here’s the pattern I’ve noticed.

I’ve seen it in the research I’ve read, from brilliant leaders that I’ve spent time with and learnt from, and from my own experiences.

It's that that the single most important characteristic of any leader is empathy. 

Showing real and genuine concern for those in your team, for those around you.

Here's the advice paraphrased from my little one:

Slow down a moment.
Take notice of those around you and what they need.
Show compassion and help them on their journey.

This made me smile

I got to spend time with British acting legend, Joanna Lumley this week. How can you not smile when you are with one of the most inspiring people I know. She was utterly charming, energising and full of interesting questions like “who did I want to play me in the film about our story”. My answer to her amusement was that I think Nichola would quite like Colin Firth.

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Be a Better Leader

Leadership tip of the week, my new book, and a lot of snow.

 

Thought for the Day

I delivered my new Keynote, The Brave You to a brilliant audience in Chelmsford, Essex this week. Here’s one of my thoughts from this:

Brave is when we make decisions and choices in the face of uncertainty. It’s one of the highest skill sets we need today and in the future.

We all have a Brave Part inside each of us - The Brave You.

To find out more about The Brave You and how I believe we can train ourselves to be more Brave, stay tuned.

Upcoming Events

I’ll be speaking in these locations getting ready for the launch of my book Where the Magic Happens which Bloomsbury are publishing.

Get in touch if you’re around and you’d like to meet for a coffee.

March 12-14th London - IOD Open House
March 17th Guildford - WCC After Dinner Speaker
March 24th Annapolis, MD - WCC After Dinner Speaker
March 27th - April 13th - Various in the USA for the Book Launch of Where the Magic Happens
April 14th San Francisco, CA - Book Launch Event
April 18th - Keynote in Bristol, UK
April 19th - Keynote in Northampton, UK
May 3rd - Keynote and Workshop in Kent, UK
May 12th - Keynote in Southampton, UK

Having wasted many valuable hours in different networking events and coaching sessions on a number of occasions, it was most welcome to discover that reverse was true with Caspar. The combination of the simplicity of his system and the experiences he had shared with us gave me the WOW factor and made me discover the BRAVE in me.
— Yusuf Tokgoz - Head of Development at Iceberg Digital

Time to reboot

From Caspar's Chart Table

We’re 50 days into 2018 (at the time of writing). Two weeks ago I noticed that my energy was flagging and I decided to reboot.

I’d been making progress against my 90 day goals and plans for the year, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more and faster progress.

I kicked myself up the backside. I hired my fitness coach, Niki, with the brief that I want more energy and to be able to do more. I took on a business coach to help me work on my next mission and to keep me accountable. I got more rigorous with managing my time.

So what’s message? Well its twofold.

Usually we only stop to take stock of things like this at designated dates, New Years Resolutions, Year ends, quarter ends, birthdays and so on. Why? Why not take stock at any time. There is no right time. If you’re not doing everything you want to be, then when would “now” be a good time to kick up into another gear?

Second. The habits that I used when I hit my reboot button. Coaches, focusing on energy, people who can guide you are things that were fundamental to making our previous plans happen of creating multiple successful businesses and getting my family team ready to sail the world. 

Tip: Look at what you’re doing right now. Does it need to kick up a gear and who is best placed to help you?

 

What happens if you don’t get enough sleep

A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get sleep (it’s 4 1/2 minutes well worth watching).

This made me smile

“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

- William Golding (and added to by Erick S. Gray)

 

Be a better leader

My leadership tip of the week on how to get maximum value from each thing that you do (and a dose of nostalgia at the Ministry of Sound)

Tip: What are the opportunities that you are missing that are right in front of you?

 

Thought for the Day

"The most important lesson life has taught me is, "to be patient and keep picking away at the end target"

- Sir Ranulph Fiennes

It was a pleasure to attend your session yesterday, Caspar - a brilliantly unique look at leadership and one that has certainly added value to my thinking and actions.
— Iqbal Kanji - Driving organisational performance by developing Boards and Directors

Something New and The headline I could never write

From Caspar's Chart Table

One of the hacks I discovered when building my last business was to surround myself with people with energy, purpose and ideas. 

It just rubs off and you lift yourself to higher levels than you were before.

Last time round as I was building a B2B business in the UK, I'd go to B2C Conferences in the States to get fresh ideas and energy. That led to some major breakthroughs to grow that business.

Last week, I went to a 2 day event totally unrelated to what I'm doing.

Why?

Fresh ideas, inspiration and I know the people presenting there are playing on a high energy and impact level.

I left there buzzing with even more energy. Perhaps unsurprisingly the last 3 days of the week were exceptional with new opportunities and connections. Amazing things really do flow when you put yourself in the flow of energy and ideas.

Not only that. Live in your own markets and ideas, the best you'll get is the same as everyone else.

Step outside and you'll find new cool stuff to lift you to higher levels.

The headline I could never write

There are definitely some words a British person couldn’t write about themselves. It’s very humbling when someone else writes them.

Read the Institute of Directors Article: Why 30 Minutes with Caspar Craven could change your life.

This made me smile

Perhaps the most brave and audacious marketing launch ever performed. The sight of Elon Musk’s Tesla floating through space, Space Oddity by David Bowie playing and the nod to HitchHikers guide to the galaxy with Don’t Panic on the dashboard. Don’t miss the humour value of the name too - it was called Falcon Heavy. Try saying the sentence: It's so Falcon Heavy, man. 

Pure genius.

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Be a Better Leader

Thought for the Day

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- 

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. 

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. 

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. 

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

- From the genius pen of Goethe

 

His ability to catch and keep the audience’s attention throughout the speech was magnificent.

He went far beyond my expectations.
— Vadims Koroļovs - Finance Director at Antalis

When I was 14, I repaired an abandoned fishing dinghy

From Caspar's Chart Table

When I was 14, I repaired an abandoned dinghy and launched my first business catching and selling crabs and lobsters in South Devon.

I'd wake early to listen to the 5:50am Shipping Forecast to know what the weather would be and whether it would be safe to go to sea and put my fishing gear out. The sound of the shipping areas and the forecasts are incredibly evocative. Names like Dover, Wight, Portland and Plymouth became part of my growing up narrative.

It was a moving moment to share the stage last week with the voice of the Shipping Forecast, Zeb Soames where we were both interviewed by Sky Sports Alec Wilkinson in the Legends Theatre at the London Boat Show.

It was also a fascinating behind the scenes insight into how the Forecast is prepared and read out (dead on 9 minutes) and yes his voice sounds just as amazing in real life as it does on the airwaves.

Leadership Tip (and our new kitchen)

My Leadership tip of the week (and our new kitchen) - the video is 1 min 43 seconds long

What is Brave?

Brave is what happens when you truly decide and commit to the future you imagine.  

Brave is when you follow your instinct and step into uncertainty to make it happen. 

It’s there that you discover the magic of the world urging you forwards and putting things in your path that you could never have imagined.

This made me laugh

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4 Habits of Successful People

I enjoyed reading Simon Sinek on Virgins website this week with this:

"Don’t be afraid to ‘try, try and try again’. Successful people see failure as part of the path to success and many of the most successful people have gone bust, then started again.”

The full article is here.

I listened to Caspar yesterday as he outlined his journey around the world by yacht, with his very young family. Everything from the concept, planning and execution.
Wow! His story was inspiring. Delivered with great passion, humility and openness. He captured the imagination of the audience, and translated his journey into a series of credible and recognisable business messages. Absolute pleasure to listen him and to learn from him.
Thank you Caspar.
— Mike Blackburn OBE - Chairman at Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

Why New Years Resolutions Seldom Stick (and what to do about it)

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Around September last year, we were struggling to get our kids to read regularly.

We’d tell them to read every day but without us checking up, the reading was patchy.

We had a simple idea.

It involved creating a process.

We called it Book Corner.

A piece of paper on the wall. All 5 names in the family in a chart with days of the week. Once you’d read for an hour each day you ticked it off. 

The results were tallied and at the end of the week, the person with the most ticks got a small prize.

What happened?

We ended up reading a lot more as a family.

We'd created a process. A ritual. Some measurement.

Why did this work and what does this mean for your New Years Resolutions.

To do something regularly means you need to develop a habit. A set of behaviours.

Once you do something regularly you need less will power. It’s ingrained.

Will power can be a super strong muscle. The thing is it tires quickly. 

That’s why so many new years resolutions don’t get to see the end of January.

You’re all out of will power and the old behaviours kick back in again.

So, here’s the trick.

It worked for us with book corner. We’re doing it again with New Years Resolutions.

My wife and I have agreed the behaviours we want to make sure we sustain this year.

We’ve created the chart in the picture here.

It’s simple. It’s public. It’s accountable. It’s visible on the wall at home.

Will we be perfect and do it all. Probably not. 

Will we do a lot more than if we didn’t have this.

Absolutely. It’s creating a routine, a habit and a conversation around it. 

In your teams. In your work team. In your family team. In any team you work in. What routines, patterns and behaviours do you want to sustain? 

Create a simple process. Don’t overcomplicate it. Make it fun and make it a part of your conversation.

Remember. Whatever result you want to achieve, it’s what you do every single day that will get you there, not what you do once in a while.

Have an awesome day,

Caspar

EVENT + REACTION = OUTCOME....one of the many ‘takeaways’ from Caspar’s inspirational and very insightful keynote. Caspar really gives you some practical advice and tools to not only help you build a team, but also help ‘manage the reactions’ of the team to get the best outcomes. The workshop, on the following day, really helped to implement some of Caspar’s theory into practice! Go seeking problems, problems are what you will find...learning to focus on what is right in both business, and life in general, will help you and others accomplish your goals. Thank you very much Caspar...I have a sense your journey has just begun :)
— Austin Nichola - CEO @ Travel Out There, Event Architect and Entrepreneur

What can parenting and adventures teach us about business?

What can parenting and adventures teach us about business?

Tonnes! Things like patience, the ability to praise rather than criticise, making things fun and the need to work together as a team.

Yachting World have released the first in a series of videos I’ve created with my wife Nichola on how to get your kids sailing. 

The context is sailing but these lessons apply to building any team. Make your team feel safe, make it fun and make everyone feel valued if you want to get your team engaged.

THANK YOU!
We are very pleased we invited Caspar to speak at The Magnetic Latvia Business Forum in Riga.
More than 500 people attended this event and everyone loved him!
He shared 8 lessons he learnt from his 7 year journey to turn an idea into reality and sail around the world.
Keynote was outstanding and workshop very inspiring and useful with a lot to take away.
Team building - motivation - leadership -> He will show you how to make that happen!
He is also very nice person who I would love to meet and speak to again :)
Thank you Caspar and Chris Edmondson and Unique Speaker Bureau UK
— Agnese Žagata - Business conference organiser - Investment and Development Agency of Latvia

What does the future hold?

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Personal admission >> I find it challenging to carve out enough time to read everything that I want to stay current. Despite my best intentions to read for an hour a day, I find it pretty hard to do that.

Its well documented that most successful people spend a good proportion of their time reading and learning. I’m determined to learn more - its just there are many distractions. Anyone else relate to that?

One of the hacks I’m very fortunate to have is that because of what I do, I get to listen to and spend time listening to and talking with some inspiring thought leaders.

Take last week. I was in Latvia for 2 days speaking. I shared the stage with James Wallman and Max Borders. Both were talking about the future and shared some insights and trends.

James has written a book Stuffocation and was talking about this and the Experience Economy. His premise is that we’re all stuffocated. We have more stuff than we could ever need - clothes we don't wear, kit we don't use, toys we don't play with. But having everything isn't making us happier. It's bad for the planet. and it's cluttering up our homes. I couldn’t agree more. When we sailed for two years, my favourite Christmas was the one where we only had one present each. The gift was more appreciated and we did what was truly important. We spent more time talking together and enjoying family time rather than being overwhelmed by gifts. 

James shared some interesting things I hadn’t heard of before - Escape Rooms, Secret Cinemas and talked about the rise of festivals and real life experiences. 

Max was equally fascinating and I got to spend the evening with him talking about the future - many hours learning about and debating cryptocurrencies and what's coming next for the world. 

So, here’s my point. In our world where we have so many competing demands on our time and where social media will effortlessly suck hours out of your day without you even noticing, how can you increase your learning? My advice is continually seek out and find smart people at the leading edge of what they are doing. The experience economy rather than the digital economy. Conversations in real world are so much more engaging than digital ones.

My reason for being in Latvia was to deliver my Teamwork Keynote on Day 1 and my Leadership Masterclass on Day 2. The audiences were amazing and we had great energy and engagement in both sessions. 

If your team needs fresh ideas and inspiration heading into 2018, I’d love to share ideas with you.

Have an awesome day

Caspar

 

“To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together” just one of many golden nuggets of inspiration from Caspar. His fascinating talk cleverly aligns his brave if not crazy(!) yacht sail around the world with his young family with the rollercoaster of life in the business world. Many, if not all, of Caspar’s learnings are also highly applicable to life in general. A talk not to be missed if you want your listeners to genuinely walk away inspired to not only reflect but to act upon it.
— Michelle Helsby - Head of Partnerships - Liverpool City Region Business Post

I missed the opportunity

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I missed the opportunity. Back in the 90’s and early 00’s I spent some 8 years working for big companies. I never really took advantage of the skills development programmes they put in place.

When we were growing our ventures and getting ready to go on our adventures, the single biggest thing I did to change everything in our world was to develop a learning habit. It’s a habit that doesn’t go away.

By my calculations over the last 12 months I’ve done 11 days of training courses (in addition to online training courses, 1:1 coaching with three different leaders in their fields and multiple books). It’s Saturday just after 8am and I’m heading into London for a full day of skills training.

The learning never stops. Pen and paper at the ready to learn from people who have skills and knowledge that I want to have too.

I listened to Caspar yesterday as he outlined his journey around the world by yacht, with his very young family. Everything from the concept, planning and execution.

Wow! His story was inspiring.

Delivered with great passion, humility and openness. He captured the imagination of the audience, and translated his journey into a series of credible and recognisable business messages. Absolute pleasure to listen him and to learn from him. Thank you Caspar.
— Mike Blackburn OBE - Chairman at Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

What's the One Thing?

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When my kids are firing questions at me and all speaking at the same time, here's what I say to them.

"I can do one thing well or two things badly. You choose."

We all have so many competing priorities, that we so often fall into the trap of doing lots of things together. I'm a big believer in applying the 80-20 principle wherever I can. The extension of the 80-20 principle is to keep going until you find the one thing that makes more difference than anything else. Once you find that, make that your focus and make sure that is the first thing that you do each day.

So, here's my question to you:

What's the one thing you can do today that will have the single biggest impact on your world and will make everything else easier or unnecessary?

Have an awesome day

Caspar

PS. Last month I did a podcast with Ben Cattaneo - the Chief Risk Advisor at British Telecom. It was great fun and ran on for a bit. You can listen to the full podcast here.

 

Responsible or Irresponsible? How to manage risk in life and business.

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As I was scrolling through Facebook last week, an insightful quote jumped off the page and lodged in my mind. It was a Tim Ferriss quote …

“a persons success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he is she is willing to have”

It made me stop and reflect.

Specifically. On one of the areas I have been working on for almost exactly a year now. More specifically. My speaking career.

Since returning from our sailing adventures, I’ve set myself on a mission to inspire people all over the world to be more, do more and achieve more. This has shown up with me speaking to amazing audiences the world over about leadership, teamwork and resilience. Every time I’ve spoken I’ve been very grateful to have wonderful feedback.

For a while though, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that something obvious has been missing. This is where the uncomfortable conversation comes in.

On several occasions, I’ve been put forward for a speaking gig and I’ve not been selected. The reason given was:

“How can we put someone who is so utterly irresponsible on our stage. To put his wife and children in danger. How utterly reckless of him”

I’ve decided to meet the conversation head on. What I’ve noticed is that when I first meet people and tell them our story, there is usually one of two reactions.

You are the best Dad in the world for giving your family such an incredible experience.

You are the most irresponsible person I’ve ever met.

There’s not much else in between. It does tend to polarise views!

So. With this in mind. I’ve created a second topic to speak on. The subject is risk. How we evaluate risk, how we manage risk, how we embrace risk. There are very strong parallels in business and life between what we did and the world we now live in.

I’ll be placing our process, what we did and how we managed risk in a context where people listening can evaluate the risks in their own organisations and teams and how to manage those risk.

I’m excited to be sharing my ideas on this topic. It's a hugely important topic as I believe we as humans can do so much to change how we approach risk. We can't ignore risk - we just have to understand and manage it better. How we manage the change and uncertainty that lies ahead for us will depend so much on how we prepare for it. That involves understanding risk. So, I'm pretty certain that some people will still think I’m irresponsible and at the very least it will give them and others ideas that they can action in their day to day lives.

When I remember...

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I was standing on the rugby pitch touchline yesterday with a friend talking about the past week as we watched our sons playing a match.

The week had been successful for both of us. 

We reflected on why.

Very simply, it was when we remember to do the right things, amazing things happen. 

“When I remember….”

Remember to do what exactly?

All the things we’ve learnt over the years.

Important things like remembering to stop and appreciate what is all around us, remembering to think about other people and what is important to them, remembering to exercise, remembering to notice all the things that your partner does, and remembering to look after the people around us.

What caused me to remember….

I walked between meetings in London last week. Specifically between Trafalgar Square and the House of Lords. Walking by the River Thames, I stopped to look up and notice the amazing things of historical and architectural significance that are literally all around us. 

I simply stopped looking at my iPhone and looked up.

It reminded how many amazing things are all around us if we just take a moment to notice them.

I was at the House of Lords at the invite of Lord Stone and Lord Verjee to debate Virtuous Leadership led by a talk by Sri M. For several hours, we debated what virtuous leadership meant. Doing the right thing. Coming from a place of good intent. Being conscious of what we are doing.

It was a powerful reminder of what I believe we all instinctively know is the right thing do do.

When we remember.

None of these were new messages. 

The week before, I was flattered, thrilled and delighted to have been contacted by the TEDx organisers in Chelmsford to deliver a TEDx talk. My idea was “Why appreciation is the essence of humanity”. The key message being to focus on what is right rather than what is wrong and to build up the people around us by telling them what they are doing well and to build on their strengths.

New messages? Not really. It’s all just about remembering to do them.

What else?

I went running and went to Bootcamp.

I remembered to exercise.

What happened? 

I had more energy, felt better and got more done.

What else?

I took the time to notice all the things that my wife Nichola does juggling children, our building project and new ventures.

Rather than the things that she hadn't done.

What happened? 

We were more harmonious. We got more done. As a family we went out and had fun together.

Few people are learning this stuff. We’ve all heard it before. It’s just a case of remembering to do it.

What can you remember to do this week?

What have you done before that led to success in your world however you define it?

What can you remember to do?

Have an awesome week and I'd love to hear what you are going to "remember to do this week". Want to make it more real? Share in the comments below and I'm sure you'll help provide some ideas for others too.....

 

How's your team working together?

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Your team. Work team. Family Team. Sports Team.

Things ever get a bit tough and crunchy?

Of course they do. We're human. Just the nature of how human dynamics work.

One of the biggest shifts I discovered in building teams and to get people working well together was to use appreciation. Find small details as well as the big things and tell people what they are doing well. Even better do it publicly so others know too. I used to give chocolate bars in my business at the same time as telling people what they are doing well.

We're hard wired to spot things that are wrong. It's harder to train ourselves to focus on what's right and tell people what they are doing well. And to do that consistently.

We all know this right? When was the last time you did it?

My Monday thought for you. Find one person today in a team you work in and just share a specific thing that you saw them do and why you thought that was great. The more specific, the better,

This was one of the cornerstones of how I built my businesses and sailed twice around the world. Over the past few months, I've been working with the excellent team at 42courses.com and have distilled down some pithy to the point lessons on team building.

It's recently gone live here: https://www.42courses.com/courses/superteams

If you know anyone who'd benefit from this please share the post.

Have an awesome day

Caspar

What a great session Caspar – and so well delivered.

You have a superb story to tell and you linked your personal ‘lessons learned’ to business leadership issues very skilfully.

You spoke with real credibility and you spoke to 100+ people in the same way as you would speak to 1 person – I always think that is the ultimate achievement for a presenter.
— Eric Pillinger - TACK International

5 Signs you have a winning team (and what to do about it if you don’t)

Your team. In business, at home, in sport, on an adventure. Does it click and you are flying along. Or does it feel hard, crunchy and that something isn’t working?

Over the past two months, I’ve worked with two very different teams. Both were in challenging, uncertain and changing environments. The setting. A 2,000 mile sail along the rugged and windswept North Pacific coast between San Francisco and British Columbia in Canada.

One crew, the “North” team (for the sail heading North) was a four strong team of men, three of whom who had barely met before. The second crew, the “South” team was my family team - my wife and three young children. We took on the challenge, we were safe, we thrived and the expedition was a success with both teams.

Now that I’ve been back on land for some three weeks, I reflect on what the two teams had in common. Some of the things that stood out to me as the hallmarks of a winning team, a happy team that can take on different challenges and thrive. 

They are the same signs you can spot in a business team. A team that is either thriving and doing well, or a team that needs a little help to get firing on all cylinders. These are some the things leaders at all levels in a business might take note of.

I share some of the things that stood out to me below. How many of these do you notice in your business or a team that matters to you?

1) People care about each other

On our sail North, one of the team had a bug for around 36 hours. Fever, high temperature and low on energy. No-one had to be asked to stand up and take his watch or his cooking and cleaning duties. The team just naturally did it. We all worked together. We look after each other. It’s just the right thing to do for the team. Similarly, Nichola, my wife was seasick for the first day on the South team. I and the children rallied round and looked after her.

At work. One team member has the project from hell and is pulling all hours to get it done. How do the rest of the team respond? Do they all pack up at 5pm and leave one person struggling on their own. Or do they pull together and help out where they can.

The question is whether your team genuinely care about each other and are looking out for them. Feeling cared about is one of the most motivating things a person can experience.

2) How does it feel to be part of the team?

On our passage North I had four very strong characters on board. Within a couple of days, you could feel the team had bonded and were working in sync. The energy was infectious. When people’s watches finished, they’d actively want to stay on watch to spend time with the other crew. Other signs were there. Taking a moment to read the log book (the ships document which needs to be updated hourly with position data, weather data and notes about the passage) and you’d see the energy flowing from the words on the page. On the South team, family mealtimes were always fun - lots of conversation and every afternoon, we played board games (all iPads and iPhones were switched off and we enjoyed time together as a family).

Walk into the offices of any business and you can feel it instantly. What’s the energy like? Is it infectious and something you want to be part of or does it feel tired and lacklustre. It’s something you just can’t hide. 

Great teams literally pull you in. I remember back in the late 90’s when I worked at KPMG. I was on a training course in the Welsh countryside. We were split into six teams competing against each other. Our team was just buzzing with energy and were having fun. So much so that one of the instructors actually decided to join the team and work with us. When a team of people create energy like that, it’s palpable.

3) People aren’t afraid to be themselves

The crew were just themselves and played to their strengths. The North team were just who they were. People just spoke their truths and we shared many things between us. As to the South team - well children have no issue in saying exactly what they think - it all just flows out.

Authenticity always has been one of the most powerful ways to communicate your message. Speaking honestly and openly from the heart.

I love the work by Ray Dalio, the driving force behind Bridgewater, the worlds largest hedge fund. He speaks of radical truth, radical honesty and radical transparency. Cutting out all the BS and getting down to the truth of each situation. Link here for his TED Talk on this.

I see in a winning team that people feel liberated to speak their truth and to be who they truly are. Trying to conform or be someone else is just plain exhausting and takes vital energy away from the tasks in hand.

Since coming back, one of the North Team has been helping me with one of my ventures. What I love is the honesty with which he can share things with me. He can speak the core truth of what he thinks and I know beyond any doubt that he is coming from a place of care and compassion. The increase in the levels of self awareness that this generates is remarkable as people say things they might not normally say.

4) Appreciation and Respect

Everyone brings something different to a team. Celebrating and understanding those differences is vital. The “standard boat rules” expect each person to do an equal amount of cooking, cleaning, driving the boat and sailing manoeuvres. 

With the South team, we encouraged the children to contribute what they liked doing best. My son would take a watch and keep look out. My oldest daughter would cook and read stories to the youngest. The little one loved to vacuum the boat and we made a game out of it.

The reality on the North passage is we had two people who loved cooking, one who loved fixing stuff, two who didn't mind the cleaning and quite a few who loved the long watches on deck and sailing manoeuvres. So we flexed. Everyone played to their strengths. Each person appreciated the skills the others brought. There was no “why haven’t you cooked today, its your turn”, it was give and take. Everyone could see that each person was pulling their weight and making things happen.

In a business it’s exactly the same. I always look for the strengths of each person and get them to do more of what they love doing. You need a collection of talents and experience. It’s about cooking up the right balance.

One of the rituals I’ve enjoyed doing both on board a boat,   a business and in my family team is to regularly appreciate and talk about the good things that are happening. On the boat over breakfast every day, I’d hold a skippers briefing. Part of that would be values prizes. I’d share one specific thing that each person had done well over the previous 24 hours. Not everyone gets to see the contribution that each person brings so I see it as part of a leaders role to highlight the contribution that each person makes and to help others appreciate that.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who needs training to tell you what is wrong with a situation. This is about talking about good things. Things that are going well. Building on peoples strengths and building people. 

5) Humour, Celebration and time together

Nothing bonds and cements a team like fun, laughter and enjoyment. The South team despite some seasickness always found things to smile about. The North boys team found “toilet” humour within 24 hours (aided by two block toilets on board).

Back in my corporate days, I remember two different cultures I worked in. One where every week, we’d enjoy spending time in the pub together talking as people. And one where people would leave at the end of the day and wouldn’t socialise. It created a big difference in how much time people relished going to work and spending time as a team.

One of the key things I did in my last business Trovus was to set up a rewards structure for meeting targets. Money would go in the pot for us to celebrate and do things together as a team. One was a weekend for all the team in Amsterdam. Another was the silent disco at Regents Park Zoo. Another was creating graffiti for the office walls. Didn't matter what it was - it was that we celebrated and enjoyed what the team had created and achieved together.

I raced around the world in the year 2000 on the BT Global Challenge - called the Worlds Toughest Yacht Race. I remember a mantra at that time that a fast team is a happy team. The thinking was that if the boat was going fast, then everyone would be happy, and you’d push on to go even faster.

I actually think the polar opposite is true. A happy team is a fast team. Get a team playing to their strengths, doing the things that they love doing, raise the levels of self awareness through truth and honesty, talk about what is right and encourage the team to celebrate together. I think that if your team is buzzing and happy, then you will have a fast team that is a winning team.

What to do if your team isn't in that place? There are many places to start…

  1. Like and Follow my Facebook page where I post regular updates on interesting things I discover and enjoy sharing.
  2. I’ve just launched a course here called SuperTeams> it’s all about how to nurture and build your winning team. You can sign up and take the course immediately - its here.
  3. I work and coach leaders on how to build their winning teams. Contact me if you want to see if we’d be a good fit. 
  4. I deliver Keynote talks on Leadership and Teamwork. My most popular talk is one hour long and is called “Charting Success - 8 Steps to Navigating a Winning Team”. You can book me through my excellent speaking agents - both are brilliant: Dominic at Maria Franzoni and Tiffany or Chris at Unique Speakers Bureau.

Have an awesome day everyone,

Caspar