Captain Sandy on Being Chased by Pirates

Captain Sandy Yawn shares the story of her run in with "thieves at sea." What’s it like being a female captain in this industry?
Sandy Yawn: Being a female captain in this industry is challenging and inspiring because I thrive on problem solving. Being a woman in the male dominated yachting world is an advantage due to my ability to multi task while managing the emotions of the crew. I choose not to come from a place of power and control and it really, really works. I like to empower my crew to be the best they can be. I cultivate, educate, and teach my crew to reach their capabilities and have goals without shaming or demeaning them. When the meltdowns start to come, I take my crew for ice cream and I show them that it’s not the end of the world, but at the same time let them know what I expect from them. This is where my energy as a woman helps me with leading people. I have worked for bosses before, and a boss sits at a desk or at the helm and tells people what to do -- I prefer to be hands-on, firm, and compassionate. That’s how I navigate my leadership. Tell us the story of how you were chased by pirates?
SY: Let’s remember pirates are thieves at sea. It takes place in the Red Sea! Not a fun place for one to be drifting. My training kicked in and I wondered if I would make it out of there alive. What’s your management style?
SY: I lead by showing the crew what I expect not telling them what to do. When I am pushed, I don’t push back, I navigate. Were you surprised that crew questioned your methods at first?
SY: Yes, when you are an original, people always question at first.

Below Deck Mediterranean
Is Captain Sandy Sabotaging This Beach Picnic?
The crew is questioning her methods... What were your first impressions of the crew?
SY: Oh boy, I didn’t know them and I have less than 24 hours before our first charter of the season arrives? Time to go to work!

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Sandy Yawn

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