Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

On Point: How Basketball Skills Translate to Life as a CEO

My ever faithful blog support team recently asked me what was unexpected about being a CEO. The short answer is: a lot. We are living in a world of seemingly ever increasing uncertainty. The byproduct of that uncertainty is a never ending series of surprises and challenges. We spend a great deal of time and effort thinking strategically about our business. We also spend a great deal of time responding to unexpected developments.

That’s the way it is, but it got me thinking about other elements of the job that the readers might not find obvious if they have not had the opportunity I have to lead a company of this magnitude. So I will offer a few observations about daily life as a CEO.

For starters, if a problem is easy to solve then I am not going to know about it. No easy problems get to me because there are so many talented professionals on my team to solve the easy ones and also most of the hard ones. For something to make it to me, it has to be challenging which usually means an issue that involves trade-offs between various strategies or conflicting ideas about how to achieve an objective. I try to discourage my people from asking me what do. It is fine if they identify different options but I expect them to advocate a specific recommendation. I will then try hard to go with their recommendation but sometimes I am privy to information that might change the answer.  Often there are teaching moments that arise from these conversations.  So while I’m the only member of my family who has never been a teacher (mother, father, two brothers, sister), I still get my chances.

My contribution is often to communicate to external audiences.  Many of my teammates know exactly what to say but the situation demands the CEO’s voice is to express the point of view. This is especially true for constituencies such as the media, politicians and industry conferences.  It’s a privilege to be the voice and face of a brand that makes 3.5 million guests happy each year, but it can be challenging to identify opportunities for rising stars to get experience in such situations.  Yet an important part of our responsibility is to prepare the next generation of leadership in all respects.

Keeping with this theme, it is the CEO’s responsibility to place colleagues in situations where they are likely to be successful, where their skills are leveraged and where they gain critical experience.  Given my background in sports, it won’t be surprising that I think of this in terms of a point guard in basketball knowing where to get the other players the ball to maximize their effectiveness.

There are certain recurring experiences that I am truly fortunate to have.  One is the look I get to see in people’s eyes  – especially our guests, occasionally travel agents or others – when they tell me how special their cruises were and/or how special our men and women are.  It’s as if they see in me the embodiment of the totality of our brand and the phenomenal efforts of the people in it.  It is a priceless look that reflects 42 years of excellence at Royal Caribbean International.

Internally, the bond I have formed with many of my colleagues who have been with us for a long time is really special. We have grown up together and we have devoted our professional lives to Royal Caribbean and our guests. That is unusual in corporate life today but there are many examples at our company.

There are many other aspects to being CEO.  Some of them are obvious, such as the pressures of balancing time, maintaining involvement in family life and handling incessant travel.  There are also the opportunities to have wonderful experiences, participate in community leadership positions and pursue my training with a lot of support.

I hope this blog entry has given our readers some insight into what goes into being CEO.

AdamGoldstein

3 responses to:
“On Point: How Basketball Skills Translate to Life as a CEO”

  1. Victoria

    Yes it must be challenging to be the CEO of such a huge cruise line like Royal Caribbean and all of those wonderful people that are employed by Royal Caribbean in order to make our cruise time a relaxing and fun vacation….can’t wait until my next cruise…

    • Adam

      Thanks for reading, Victoria.

  2. Maralyn Hauer

    I have been a frequent RCCL cruiser. I wonder if the CEO has any idea of the deplorable customer service we and others experienced on our “ultimate Cruisetour” that originated in Calgary on June 22. Your cruiseline needs a new disaster plan, because your customer service was a disaster in itself during the Alberta floods. A good CEO should know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close

Connect With us

Tab indicator
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@the2TravelBugs Thanks for posting the pic from your trip. It looks like you have an amazing time.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@SandraResendes We're so glad you had a wonderful time, and we hope to see you onboard again soon.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@iammatters Welcome onboard! We hope you have a wonderful time with us.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@spoiledgirl85 Thank you!. We're happy to hear how much you enjoyed sailing with us. What did you enjoy the most onboard?
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@jankrav Thanks for posting the pic from your trip. It looks like you had an amazing time. Hope to see you back onboard soon!
Sit back and enjoy the ride. How are you relaxing this Labor Day?
Kick off the long weekend with warm tropical breezes.

#royalwow photo thanks to chelsea9wilson.
Join CEO Richard Fain and David Pogue now as they reveal how technology on Quantum of the Seas is innovating the vacation experience: http://bit.ly/QuantumOTS
Last week, Quantum of the Seas docked out for the first time, and tomorrow we're revealing exciting details about our newest ship. Watch live at 10am EDT: http://bit.ly/1tuwsK0 http://youtu.be/_6bo3sT_y0U
Need a weekend escape? http://bit.ly/1pbiFXj

Photo thanks to s_marie92.
Dream vacations are our specialty. Book by 8/20 and get up to $200 onboard credit PLUS 50% reduced deposit during our WOW Sale: http://bit.ly/1kJN8LY
Spend more days wearing flippers. http://bit.ly/1nXc1ie
Quantum's first passenger? A 30-foot-tall magenta polar bear created by artist Lawrence Argent. Get a first look at the world-class art collection onboard: http://bit.ly/QuantumArt

JavaScript and Flash are required to view video content. View the playlist on YouTube.

  • Keep calm and go to Keep calm and go to the beach. 4 hours + 8 minutes ago
  • Let's go. Let's go. 4 hours + 8 minutes ago
  • Live. Live. 4 hours + 8 minutes ago
  • Time for an adventur Time for an adventure. 4 hours + 8 minutes ago
  • Planes landing over Planes landing over Maho Beach, St. Martin. 1 day + 4 hours ago
  • Beach day at Labadee Beach day at Labadee. 1 day + 4 hours ago
  • It doesn't get much It doesn't get much better than this. #labadee 1 day + 4 hours ago
  • Sailing into port. # Sailing into port. #caribbean 1 day + 4 hours ago
  • Quantum of the Seas. Quantum of the Seas. 2 days + 6 hours ago
  • Quantum of the Seas Quantum of the Seas at sunset. 2 days + 6 hours ago
  • Twice the fun. #alaska
  • What more could you ask for? #stmaarten
  • Spotted at the #PapenburgFestival: Quantum of the Seas.
  • We're excited to welcome Ovation of the Seas as the third ship in the Quantum family.
  • We live to explore. #greece
  • Ready for a day in #Santorini?
  • Dream today, go tomorrow. #caribbean
  • No worries for miles. #allure
  • Waiting for you. #cococay
  • You can never have too many beach days. #bahamas
Out of Office: Never Leave Home Without a Sense of Humor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:32 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD One of the likely casualties of the rise of online communications is the travel disaster fueled by misinformation or no... Continue Here to Read More…

It’s Not Rocket Science – Keep Your Head in the Game

Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:20 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD This is intended as the first in a series of relatively easy to accomplish tasks that remarkably few aspiring managers actually... Continue Here to Read More…

Why the Royal Caribbean Brand Continues to Evolve

Monday, July 28, 2014 10:02 AM

By Vicki Freed, SVP of Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International I asked some of the Royal Caribbean International senior leadership to write a guest blog about the state of... Continue Here to Read More…

My New Responsibilities

Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:37 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. When I took on my new responsibilities a few months ago, I thought it would be very interesting to become a provider of shared... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean at the Food & Wine Classic

Monday, July 21, 2014 11:52 AM

By Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado where Royal Caribbean International was the official cruise... Continue Here to Read More…

Have You Cruised on 30 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:07 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Less than four months to Quantum of the Seas! As one of my law professors like to say, the “relentless march of the... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean Expands Cruise Vacation Offerings in Asia

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:30 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My latest travels brought me back to Asia the week of June 16 – 20.  As always, the pace and energy of the region are... Continue Here to Read More…

Personal Plans for the Second Half of 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:51 AM

Blog by Adam A quick update on my other doings as the “empty nest” approaches even faster than the delivery of Quantum of the Seas. Our family continues our involvement with many aspects of... Continue Here to Read More…

How Entertainment on Quantum & Anthem Will Transcend Anything You've Seen on Land or Sea

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:22 PM

Blog by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International Hello, everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of being in Las Vegas where we announced the amazing... Continue Here to Read More…

Catching the Travel Bug: My Explorations through SEED

Friday, June 20, 2014 11:18 AM

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s community support efforts often focus on education and social services for underserved youth. Over the years I have written from time to time about my long term... Continue Here to Read More…