An excellent set of guidelines for conducting yourself (often in bars, it seems) like a professional sailor. No wonder they win so much:
Rule number 1
No phones at dinner. As soon as a phone comes out the offender is fined. Fines are immediate and can be paid at the bar. Sounds old school but it really bugs me to have a get together and someone is Skyping their sister, surfing the net, or on Facebook. It’s not right!
Special permission can be granted to have a phone on the table. I think we gave permission once in France. At the time some questioned the wisdom of allowing any exception to the “rules are rules” policy, but Burg’s wife was in labour back in New Zealand.
Rule number 2
Change the shirt or change your beer. It never fails to amaze me how many people just don’t get it. An example from the past: How can a team member wearing the Emirates Team New Zealand shirt, proudly displaying our sponsors, including Estrella Damm, order a competing beer? In the bottle no less! Imagine if a director of Estrella Damm was socialising with his/her team and seen drinking a competitors’ product. Not a good look for anyone.
Rule number 3
While we are at it, clear away the empties. As the team has matured over the years I don’t have to use this line much. Picture this: You see yachties sitting, having a good time, perhaps a bit loud, at a table littered with empty beer bottles. Now picture the same scene but the only bottles in sight are those in use. A very different perception of the same situation. Better yet, no bottles and the beer is in a glass. All Black management discovered long ago that people tended to drink less if they drink from a glass.
Rule number 4
No job is too trivial. Wash the sails, clean the container, take out the rubbish or get lunches; doesn’t matter if you the youngest or oldest, skipper or a rookie boat builder. No matter where you are in the pecking order, you do whatever needs to done. Just get on with it, no complaining. And no festering. Festering is where you are hanging out just…….festering. Not getting anything done. Everyone get the jobs done and leaves.
Rule number 5
Win, by all means but make it fun. Little things like dinner together, having a beer together after sailing regardless of the day’s results or just being happy. It’s contagious, if you’re upbeat and looking forward the others will fall in line. If you’re walking depression you will drag your comrades down with you.
Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Here's another look behind the scenes of a team that sets the standard: