Messing About In Ships Podcast Episode 26

Lou Vest calendar photo Jan 2008 Heather Knutsen - header

(58 minutes)

Download MP3:Messing About In Ships episode 26 (July 21, 2008 )

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Shownotes: Messing About In Ships blog

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Happy 90th Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Leadership can be a very complex and messy subject but in the end it’s really about one simple thing: bringing about positive change within a system. The system could be a team, family, organization, community, nation or, in rare cases, the world. It’s most impressive when this change is effected by someone who stands outside the traditional bounds of the formal authority of the system. Time cover w Mandela

In my lifetime no single individual embodies this notion of leadership more than Nelson Mandela and today he celebrates his 90th birthday.

Time Magazine has a knack for effectively simplifying complex subjects and has done so this week with it’s cover article Mandela at 90 – The Secrets of Leadership. This is the 4th occasion that Mandela has graced the cover of Time.

The article was written by Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel who helped Mandela write his popular autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. He also wrote an interesting sidebar A Leader for the Ages in which he accounts his personal experiences working with Mandela and there is a great slide show which he narrates entitled Nelson Mandela: Modern Hero.

The subtitle for the article is “Eight Lessons from One of History’s Icons” and true to form Time lays things out in a simple way with each effectively illustrated by a story from Mandela’s life. Please make sure you read the entire article to get the full measure of Mandela’s lessons. Any leader would benefit from employing them.

  1. Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it
  2. Lead from the front — but don’t leave your base behind
  3. Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front
  4. Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport
  5. Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer
  6. Appearances matter — and remember to smile
  7. Nothing is black or white
  8. Quitting is leading too

Mandela’s leadership lessons may be simple but they are never easy.

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Has that SuperDuper yacht turtled? (Wall Street Journal)

Robert Frank has written an interesting page one article for today’s (June 17, 2008 ) Wall Street Journal entitled Smooth Sailing Gets Ugly With Russian Billionaire’s New Yacht. (subscription required)

The article profiles 36 year old Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko latest contribution to the SuperDuper yacht category and it’s another example that money does not necessarily equate with taste.


IMHO, this Philippe Starck designed yacht, which is simply named “A”, looks like a turtled battleship. I love a lot of Starck’s work including the classic Ara III he designed for his own use in Venice and which is named after his daughter but he should probably stick to projects on dry land because this is one of the most hideous vessels ever to sail the seas.

Frank writes:

While longer than a football field, A barely ranks among the 10 largest private yachts in the world, trailing just behind Octopus, the 416-footer owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The cost — at least $300 million — is also not a record. Eclipse, the unfinished yacht of fellow Russian Roman Abramovich, is more than 500 feet long and cost at least $100 million more. Mr. Melnichenko’s boat, at cruising speed, burns about 691 gallons of diesel fuel per hour.

The reason A is stirring up the boat world is its radical design. Created by Philippe Starck, the superstar French designer of lemon squeezers and luxury hotels, A is a deliberate slap in the face to an industry known for its classic conformity.

Here’s a YouTube video of “A


One can only ask “Why?”

Photo credit: Monoco Eye

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Surfing the Amazon River

Here’s an amazing short video narrated by surfer Jon Rose about his adventure surfing on the Amazon River and shooting a Nissan commercial.

If you enjoyed this, you have to watch the longer version of this adventure on the Nissan website. It’s really well done and definitely worth watching.


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