Favorite Sea-Fever Post of 2008

The popular and always entertaining Proper Course blog has challenged sailing bloggers to submit their best 2008 posts. (Simply The Best) Although I am a sailor and do blog, technically Sea-Fever is not a “sailing” blog. But what the heck, maybe he won’t notice.

With 320 posts passing under the keel in 2008, the task of identifying my “best” was a bit daunting. There had to be a few worthwhile in the flotsam and jetsam of words that flow through this blog each week. I was tempted to submit my last post titled Sea(cret) Santa (4 Days Left): Sexy Women of Maritime Calendar because it seemed to be one of the more popular ones, especially among my saltiest readers.

In the end, I decided it was more appropriate to go with my “favorite” post because I felt the only honest judge of what’s “best” would be someone other than me. (Like Sea-Fever readers, perhaps?)

So my favorite post was Richard Branson Answers My Questions About Adventure Sailing and Business Part of the contest is to answer “Why this post is simply the best?” in 30 words so here it is:

This post is simply the best because it brought together all of my passions: sailing, leadership and social media. Sir Richard Branson answered my Twittered questions about sailing and leadership via audio and that was pretty cool!

Since this is my own blog, I can take more than 30 words. This post was really a convergence of my personal and professional interests and passions. It covered Sir Richard Branson failed attempt at setting the Transatlantic single hull sailing crossing record with his daughter and son aboard the yacht Virgin Money.

Richard and Holly Branson on Virgin Money

Leadership

Richard Branson is definitely one of the more interesting global corporate leaders in the world today. He projects enthusiasm and optimism in nearly anything he undertakes. He embodies Jim Collins Good to Great principle of establishing “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAGs) and often but not always is successful in achieving them. He’s a confident risk taker who demonstrates resiliency when things don’t go as planned. It was a thrill to be able to have a short social media exchange with him.

Sailing

The Transatlantic crossing sailing record for a mono-hull was held by the schooner Atlantic for over 100 years until it was smashed in October 2003 by Mari-Cha IV with a passage of 6 days 17 hours 52 minutes and 39 seconds. In order, to beat Mari-Cha IV, Virgin Money had to pull out all the stops and sail in challenging conditions at the front end of major weather system. It’s a high stakes battle between engineering technology, human intelligence and mother nature.

Social Media

I am fascinated by how emerging technologies have an impact on the way we communicate and interact today. I’m particularly interested in how leaders use these technologies to distribute messages to advance their vision or cause. Virgin Money was posting video to YouTube in the middle of their challenge of the transatlantic crossing record. In addition, Richard Branson actually began using Twitter from the vessel to update followers on their progress and after turning back he sent out a call for questions about the adventure. I sent him 3 questions which he answered via audio comments posted to his blog dispelling any thought that he might have delegated this to a PR hack or assistant. Listen here.

Pure and simple, this was my favorite post because it brought together leadership, sailing and social media and like I said earlier, that was pretty cool!

Tillerman’s challenge was a great catalyst to review my past year’s blogging efforts, think about what worked, what didn’t and how to chart a Proper Course for 2009. Thanks!

Thanks to all of the loyal Sea-Fever readers for your support in 2008. I wish you and your families a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Successful 2009!

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Peter A. Mello

Husband, father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

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