Dawn Riley has sailed in 3 Americas cups, won around the world races, and led other teams. I wish you could see the context for our conversation. We’re at the sailing center she runs to restart the elite level of American sailing.
Before this conversation she sent me out to see Olympic medalists competing on the Long Island sound. Shortly after, they all came in for a barbecue — Olympic medalists, a gold medalist, a Crossfit Games champion, and more.
You’ll hear these world-class athletes, trainers, organizers, and so one talking in the background over the course of the conversation. My top measure of leadership is who follows them. Dawn is surrounded by people who are themselves global leaders, and she is taking them to the next level.
She leads athletes, business people, educators, parents, and more. I wish I could describe the force of nature she is in action. Her results speak for themselves. I hope this conversation shows the potential of leadership and cultural change
If you didn’t know, I met her because I’m learning to sail, which I’m doing to travel off North America without flying. Most people think of what they miss by giving something up, even to live by their values. What you replace it with matters more. When you replace something you devalue with something you value, you’ve improved your life.
Sailing and meeting people like Dawn and her community are what others would fly to meet. When you live by your values — that is, when you lead yourself with integrity — you attract similar people. I guess if you live by “what I do doesn’t matter,” you’ll also attract similar people. Your choice!
Besides, I’ve spent far less money on sailing than on flying.
What everyone says they don’t have time for — bothering with the environment — Dawn does without a second thought. You’ll hear in the conversation her visceral connection to the environment. I hope it rubs off. If as a world-class athlete, educator, and businesswoman, she can make stewardship an effortless part of her life, you probably can too.
In the meantime, get out on a sailboat.
Read the transcript.