Think like a Pirate

I often tell people I work with that they need to think like a pirate.

Why, you might ask?

Well, do you know why pirates wear eye patches?

Cartoon pirate face with patch

Many people think it is because they lost an eye or something like that. But that doesn’t explain the prevalence of the patch. I mean, think about it for a moment – how likely is it that soooo many pirates somehow mysteriously lost an eye?

There is a theory suggesting the patch gave pirates an advantage when moving around the ship or when fighting in the dark.

By wearing a patch the pirate was be able to see what was going on above deck and out to the horizon during the day and could then go below deck where it was darker.

By being able to quickly switch between their eyes they would have greater flexibility in how they maneuvered and how long it took them to orient around changing conditions both on the ship and in the sea.

This is not just a techno-tactical decision. It requires operative level thinking to consider how the changing environment and focus will impact execution.

So, both leaders and followers need to learn this lesson.

Keeping one eye on your surroundings and what is going on outside the team, at other levels of engagement, and another on the inner workings of the team and where to focus attention internally.

#BeCourageous and be a pirate! Keep one eye on the horizon and the other on what is going on below decks. You don’t have to be the captain to wear the patch! Followers need to have this type of vision as well!


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