I was recently on a boat trip with family members and as we were on a four-hour ride up the Chesapeake Bay, I witnessed a fine display of a calm and confident leader so had to share the story. We lost power in of the engines on the boat and needless to say, the sound that the boat made as the engine problem occurred was a bit disconcerting. Everyone who was on the boat taken back and a bit startled; except the captain.
Although it was a new boat for our captain and he was not yet familiar with all the sounds, as soon as the sound arose and the boat momentum slowed significantly (of the boat’s own doing), the captain simply halted power in both engines. As several of the passengers were asking (in a very concerned tone), “What was that? What just happened?”, the captain calmly said “Let me think for a minute and see what is going on here.” He never got riled, upset or unnerved. And, if he did, the passengers never knew it. He checked out a few safety items and then continued on with the trip, getting us to our destination and home on only one engine. His actions throughout the entire trip were a fine example of a strong leader.
He remained calm under pressure, and never once acted as if anything, even a boat without an engine, was out of his control. He remained confident and in control and because of that, all of the passengers remained confident in him and in the fact that we would safely arrive at our destination. For me, this was a great example of what all leaders , regardless of what they are leading, should do in the event of uncertainty or crisis: remain calm and confident so that followers, employees, or passengers can also remain calm and confident as well as very willing to continue to be led by that individual.