I was listening to NPR this past weekend and came across an excellent example of the Captain-First Mate Dynamic, literally.
The story was on This American Life. (See the transcript below.) The whole episode is available to read or listen to...and I'd say it's worth your time.
The TL;DR version is that a husband and wife set sail across the Pacific with their two young children on a sail boat that served as their home. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. They hit storms that damaged their boat, their satellite phone stopped working and worst of all, their baby got sick.
The husband had to make a decision for the family. Continue to sail for 3 more weeks without access to medical care or call for help.
Calling for help meant the family would lose their the boat. You can't exactly call for AAA in the middle of the ocean.
The family had planed to live on their boat for the next several years. They had left their jobs and poured their life savings into making the trip possible.
Their decision to call for rescue and even be sailing at all, was heavily criticized and drew lots of media backlash.
What I found remarkable about this story was the dynamic between the husband and wife. The wife left the decision to HIM and supported him in the face of heavy criticism.
On this sub, we talk about letting our captain lead even when it looks like he is steering the boat off course. This woman lived that reality.
How hard would it be to follow our husband's lead when doing so would mean that you would lose your home or put your child's health at risk? It was a tough decision either way.
This woman showed incredible strength as she followed her husband. Her husband showed great leadership and rational decision making in the face of crisis.
I think the best quote of the whole story is at the end. The husband says despite all of the criticism his family has faced, he doesn't regret his decision.
Eric Kaufman: "And I don't really need anybody to validate that. I know there's people out there who have their thoughts and their commentary about things, sending emails that me and my family should go drown. I couldn't really give a [BLEEP] less what a whole bunch of people think. I mean, we were where we were. We had the situation that we had, and here we are."
To me, it doesn't get any more Alpha than that.