“I am here with the rescue boats, I am here, I am not going anywhere, I am here.”
-Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino
So by this time, you’ve probably heard about the cruise ship carrying 4,200 passengers and crew that capsized off the Italian coast last Friday. From the most recent news article I’ve read, 11 people have died and 29 people are still missing.
While investigations and trials will stretch on for months if not years, one thing’s for sure: ”Captain” Schettino sure wasn’t setting a positive tone! With each news article I read, I’m more disgusted by the cowardly actions of “Captain” Schettino…if we can call him a captain at all. Instead of staying with his ship until the bitter end (think “Miracle on the Hudson” Captain Chesley Sullenberger) or charging into the heart of the disaster ala the Captains featured in BOATLIFT, Schettino bailed at his first opportunity and insisted he was managing the crisis from the life boats. Give me a freaking break.
Yesterday, I wrote at length about what makes a great leader or a great captain. I talked about how captains set the tone, both positively and negatively. Thankfully, the vast percentage of captains aren’t like “Captain” Schettino. Instead, they face challenges head on. They take responsibility for their ship, their crew, and most of all, the passengers who place their lives in the captain’s hands. That’s a responsibility that can’t be met from the relative comfort of a life boat; it’s a responsibility that should be met at the ship’s helm.
You’ve got a lot to learn about being a Captain, Mr. Schettino. A lot to learn indeed.
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