This week I have been at the CPHChange event in Copenhagen. I was sharing about The Energy Bar and working with leaders who want to build better relationships with their teams. Their stories of success were inspiring.
On Wednesday, I took some time to do some sightseeing and was looking out over Stockholm Harbor. I couldn't help but think of the Vasa. This was a 1628 giant battle ship built on the orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus. King Adolphus built the ship with an extra row of cannons. The ship never made it out of the harbor due to the imbalance created by the top-heavy row of cannons. Over 300 people were lost. You can see the ship in the Vasa Museum as it's the largest most intact shipwreck in the world.
The real tragedy was that the workers knew it was not seaworthy, but they knew that it would be dangerous to tell the king. If I recall, the King could have had them killed for delivering news like that. He was impatient to see her launch and her crew lacked the courage to tell the king about her structural problems.
The tale of the Vasa is a good example of the dangers and consequences of leadership by fear.