Having good control of the yacht's crew is essential to efficient running of the vessel. For some people, this leadership ability is natural, for most it is something they have to learn.

One of the aspects some people struggle with is giving orders to other people. Many people are worried about appearing 'bossy' or overbearing, whilst this is an understandable view point it can lead to a skipper who gives no direction to the crew. They also may be worried that they are telling people to do things they can already do.

A crew who have no real leader will be inefficient and will probably start to think and act for themselves-not always as a team! This is especially true in the early days of sailing together.

It may help to think of an orchestra. Every musician is an expert in playing their instrument, probably more so than the director. However, all orchestras will perform better under the leadership of a good director. In this case the director is controlling the timing and team work of the individuals, not their performance.

That is the role of a yacht skipper. I frequently sail with very experienced sailors, sometimes, some have far more skill than me in certain areas. When this happens I still have to give orders, so they act together rather than as individuals, this does not mean that I think they do not know their individual jobs.

Remember that efficient boats are run more like a (benevolent) dictatorship than a democracy!

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