Trainer Tony Legg charts new waters
Leela de Kretser 03 Dec 03
Trainer and Team Builder
LEARNING port from starboard and reaching consensus about
which is which, will be the latest craze in corporate team
building if Tony Legg has anything to do with it.
A former Outdoor
Education teacher and sports trainer, the corporate mentor
has taken to the not-so-high seas of the Victoria Harbour
- the Melbourne Docklands in order to help businesses understand
the value of teamwork.
He is a director of Sea Leggs Sailing and Corporate Team
Building, a division of the Docklands Sailing School. His
hands-on courses give staff the chance to push themselves
at the same time as learning to rely on each other.
"Sailing develops attributes like respect, co-operation,
independence but also, interdependence," Mr Legg said.
"In many workplaces there's an implied hierarchy of
the manager or supervisor always leading the way, solving
the problems and dictating to their subordinates the workplace
processes. They often discount the value other team members
can make and disempower rather than empower staff."
"But on a sailing boat, just because you have the helm
doesn't mean it's going to work well. You're just as reliant
on the people letting the ropes off as you are reliant those
winching in the sails"
Mr Legg and workplace psychologist Ross Anderson adapt the
day's sailing to individual company needs.
Events can range from just learning to sail and working
as a team with the Day on the Bay program, through to team
Mr Legg concedes ensuring one person doesn't dominate is
an important challenge.
"How people accept direction, comments or criticism
is part of the challenge of sailing and managing companies,"
"We talk about these things in relation to the profile
of the individual company and how they come out in the intensity
of a sailing boat."
He believes sailing also mirrors the business environment
in that each face external fluctuations.
"You are working with conditions that fluctuate and
change. Sailing because of the wind and the weather,"
"You can't just say I'm going from A to D this way
every time. You have to look at the conditions and work
the best route."
He also believes his program offers managers more than a
fun day out.
"This is not just about pushing yourself physically.
It's about setting up a situation, which tests a workplace's
ability to be a team," he said.
© Herald and Weekly Times.