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 5 Tips for Resilient Leadership:

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!”