I like to involve myself in the well-being of my crew.
Leadership and motivation is a major part of a captain’s responsibility. It’s extremely important to keep the crew members motivated in their work, as well as in their free time. In such a small, confined space, it’s crucial that we all work together.
I’ve been at sea for about 36 years, which means I’ve spent about 15 years physically on board a ship! I like to involve myself in the well-being of my crew. This doesn’t mean being intrusive but just making sure that every day on board runs smoothly and to everybody’s satisfaction, to the greatest extent possible.
Above all, I need to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe on board, both during their working hours and free time. This can only be achieved by creating an atmosphere of well-being, in which we get to know one another other, share information, as well as respecting and taking care of each other.
Ultimately, I believe that a “happy” crew performs better. Crew members who feel satisfied and secure in themselves and in their relationships with others also perform at their peak. I’ve seen new crew members trying to manage on their own in various situations, often with poor results, and then going on to perform much better when working with their colleagues.
Everything we do as a group on board tends to be a success – especially games and competitions. That’s why we recently organised the Otello Winter Olympics. On deck, in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean, in 25-degree heat, Sweden competed against the Philippines in events such as curling, ice-hockey and skiing. And the Philippines won! We will, of course, be organising a follow-up event, for the Swedes to seek revenge – or maybe for the Philippines to beat them again!
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