Captain Sandy on Leadership and Resilience

Being calm under pressure is an essential characteristic of a good leader. Imagine being calm while successfully navigating through rough seas and life-threatening experiences, including pirates, multiple broken bones, and cancer. That is what Captain Sandra Yawn, star of Below Deck Med on Bravo TV does every day.

One of the more harrowing ordeals occurred off the coast of Yemen when an engine room fire left a mega yacht she was captaining disabled in dangerous waters. Following international protocol for a ship in distress, Captain Sandy radioed for assistance. That is when a security guard onboard informed her that pirates were no doubt listening and would arrive before any friendly aid. 

Knowing that they'd kill Sandy, he instructed her to hide. She listened and put her faith in her crew, another quality of a good leader.  She was locked in a small compartment for hours while chaos ensued on deck. She did not know if she'd make it out alive. 

Today, Captain Sandy is alive, well and excited about her life.  She just wrapped up season two and has launched the "I Believe" tour aimed at inspiring young women. 

Many people talk about hitting bottom and finding their inner reserve. When I asked Sandy about her experience with this she laughed and said, "Oh, I have hit bottom about twenty times.” She then shared her advice for getting out of your head.

Captain Sandy’s Course of Action When Personal Struggles Arise:

1. Stop Being Selfish – "If all I am doing is thinking about me, I shift gears and think about others."

2. Get Out on the Water – "It has a calming effect unless it is rough seas, but even then, it calls you to be your best."

3. Rise to 30,000 Feet -  "Get perspective and see what's really going on."

4. Think Outside the Box – "The New Zealand team that won the America’s Cup used their feet rather than their hands. Genius." 

5. Listen to Music that Moves You and Get Moving – "I go to Soul Cycle, between the music, the message and the workout, I am inspired!”

 

Martina Navratilova's Mental Game

Martina Navratilova's Mental Game

Martina Navratilova's 6 mental fitness tools for women who doubt themselves

I had the privilege of sitting down with Martina recently to talk about women and confidence. I shared with her the stories of self-doubt that I have heard from capable and talented women and asked if she has come across the same struggles. Martina said that she had seen it in others, but she never let being a woman hold her back.

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe: The Mindset of an Olympian

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe: The Mindset of an Olympian

Olympian Shares 5 Mindset Strategies

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe is both an Olympic swimmer and an Economics student at Harvard. Renzo has come a long way from his home country of Suriname, the smallest in South America and one that does not possess an Olympic-size swimming pool. 

Authentic Leadership & Joy

Authentic Leadership & Joy

IBM Executive Claudia Brind-Woody has made it in a man's world while remaining true to herself. In a recent conversation, Claudia opened up about the significant experiences and relationships that have shaped her life and her authentic leadership style.

Leaning into the Present Moment with Mindfulness

Leaning into the Present Moment with Mindfulness

Notes from Harvard Med School Conference

Most of us spend the vast majority of our lives between our ears, thinking, contemplating the future, ruminating about the past, going over our to-do-lists and “what if’s.” We postpone our dreams, putting them off, telling ourselves to wait until we have more information, resources and/or time. The truth is the more direction we are given in our lives, the more likely we are to resist. Self-determination is a key part of success and happiness.

Daniel Goleman, the Dalai Lama and You

Daniel Goleman, the Dalai Lama and You

Daniel Goleman, The New York Times bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, recently addressed members of Harvard’s Institute of Coaching. As a member, I listened to his talk, “Coaching as a Force for Good,” based upon his latest book co-authored with the Dalai Lama, A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World.