Leadership from Moby Dick and Comparison to Real World

Leadership Examples from Moby Dick

  • Passion
  • Motivation Crew
  • Ability to filter information

Leadership Examples Observed in the RWL Program– Comparison to Moby Dick

Ability to Filter Information
“I always go to sea as a sailor, because of the wholesome exercise and pure air of the forecastle deck. For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle. He thinks he breathes it first; but not so. In much the same way do the commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, at the same time that the leaders little suspect it. – Ishmael

During the internship with Long John Silvers one thing that stood out was the filtrating of information throughout the different levels of the store employees and then, through the managerial levels. By working at different levels at the stores, as generously allowed by this Program sponsor, it was interesting to hear what occurred on each level and what information was shared with the other levels. The employees decided what information was pertinent for the store managers to know and the store managers in turn decided what was important for the district managers to know.

The managers were in the most challenging role as they had such a vast amount of information to sort through. Some of it was valid and some of it was what you could refer to as “hog-wash” disseminated for purposes not always to the benefit of the company. If a light bulb blows out in the bathroom and a customer finds it and reports it to an employee, how far up the chain does it need to go in order to be fixed? What if that bulb in the bathroom blows four times this week?

Just as a captain of a ship needs to know the pertinent information in order to best direct his ship, he does not need to know some of the mundane information. Having the ability to sort through the information at hand, address it, and/or filter it before sending it on to the next level is often times overlooked characteristic desired in our leaders and employees.

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About the Program

The Real World Leaders - Real World Students Program is a leadership program created in partnership with the University of Kentucky that enables students to work at different work sites across America and observe a wide variety of leadership skills, traits and characteristics.

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