Back to Corporate Life?

Last week, I found myself surrounded by whiteboards, colored markers, box lunches, and conference tables.  What?  Had the last three years of sailing, volunteering, and traveling just been a dream?  

Hmm.  Despite the very corporate-looking setting, through the windows I see the blue San Francisco Bay, the glistening city skyline, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  And I'm sitting here in my big rubber boots, salt-crusted overalls, and "OCSC Sailing Club Instructor" shirt.

Phew.  No, I'm not back in the rat race after all.  I'm just helping the OCSC Sailing Club host a 4-day team-building event for a corporate client.

And the event was awesome!

On this occasion, the OCSC Sailing Club hosted a group of 20 managers from the worldwide offices of a multinational company.  We divided the group into 4 teams on 4 boats.  On Day 1, we gave the teams basic instructions on hoisting the sails and sailing the boat (dockside only).  On Day 2, we set out on a practice sail and let the participants rotate through positions to develop their boat handling skills.  On Days 3 and 4, we set them loose on a designated race course!  Each newbie sailing team had to work together to sail their boat through the course, competing with the other 3 boats for the best time!  (Yes, there was a professional skipper on board for safety reasons, and for minimal coaching as needed.)  

In the end, it wasn't about winning.  It was about teamwork, problem-solving, communication, leadership, trust, and camaraderie -- skills that are critical for a team to be successful, whether navigating the wild, windy, and wavy San Francisco Bay or navigating the complex, dynamic business world.

Based on the smiles, laughter, and comments during and after the course, I think it was a huge success!  Great job everyone!

If you'd like to put your team to the test, check out our program here:

http://ocscsailing.com/teambuilding/team-challenge

 Darkened the photo to protect the innocent, but trust me, the group was all smiles during this team-building event on the SF Bay.

Darkened the photo to protect the innocent, but trust me, the group was all smiles during this team-building event on the SF Bay.