On the surface people might think that as a captain I navigate a sailing ship from A to B having prepared the vessel with fuel, food, water, maintenance and repairs; that I teach trainees everything to do with being a full crew member on an ocean going voyage or coastal sail.

But underneath what I am really doing is team building to create relationships where trust is built to work closely together and so that people may trust to share their darkest secrets from the depths of their soul. In short I am changing lives for the better sometimes very dramatically. When people are free of constraining baggage built up from their past, they can share openly and readily face a new future.

In more recent years my role has become more of a consultant advising ship owners and managers how to set up new sail-training missions, help them decide on their target clients or how to find funding or  to expand existing missions and solve problems including avoiding dangers or risking possible disasters.

It is important that managers feel free to choose their options even if this is against my advice provided they take responsibility for the outcome. There is nothing worse than someone else’s decision causing trouble which I must resolve. However I would still support them as best I can (but may reserve the right to say ‘I told you so‘ when it all goes wrong!).

One seemingly common problem today is that when a person makes a mistake the resulting disapproval is interpreted as ‘offensive’ or even ‘hate’. They have great difficulty separating what they do from who they are. This creates all sorts of problems and antagonism including attacks on Freedom of Speech.

One helpful analogy is when a father advises or disciplines his son. The father’s motivation is because he loves his son and does not want him to do something stupid, dangerous or risking a disaster. This is not ‘hate’ but love.