Creativity and the Costa Concordia: Get on the Ship


January 13, 2012


Costa Concordia, Island of Giglio, Italy

(the setting could also be ‘your mind’)


Coast Guard: Captain Gregorio De Falco

(think of De Falco as ‘your coach’)

Ship Captain: Captain Francesco Schettino

(think of Schettino as ‘reasoning’)


Know Who You Are

De Falco: “This is De Falco from Livorno. Am I speaking with the captain?”

Schettino: “Yes. Good evening, Cmdr. De Falco.”

De Falco: “Please tell me your name.”

Schettino: “I’m Capt. Schettino, commander.”

De Falco: “Schettino? Listen, Schettino. There are people trapped on board. Now, you go with your lifeboat under the prow on the starboard side. There’s a rope ladder. You climb that ladder and go aboard. Go aboard and tell me how many people there are. Is that clear? I’m recording this conversation, Capt. Schettino.”

Take Responsibility

Schettino: “So, I’ll tell you something…”

De Falco: “Speak up!”

Schettino: “So, at this moment, the boat is tipping…”

De Falco: “I got it. Listen, there are people coming down the rope ladder from the prow. You go up that ladder, get on that ship and tell me how many people are still on board and what they have on board. Is that clear? You need to tell me if there are children, women or people in need of assistance. And tell me the exact number of each of these categories. Is that clear? Schettino, you may have saved yourself from the sea, but I’m going to make you pay, I’m going to make your life miserable. Get the (bleep) on board!

What are You Doing?

Schettino: “I’m here with the rescue boats, I’m here, I haven’t gone anywhere, I’m here.”

De Falco: “What are you doing there, captain?”

Schettino: “I am here to coordinate the rescue…”

De Falco: “What are you coordinating there? Go aboard! Coordinate the rescue from aboard the ship. Are you refusing?”

Schettino: “No, no, no, I am not refusing.”

De Falco: “YOU GO ABOARD: That’s an order. Don’t make any more excuses. You declared abandon ship, now I’m in charge. YOU GO ABOARD. Is that clear?”

Schettino: “Commander, I’m going aboard.”

Who’s Counting On You?

De Falco: “Go, and call me when you are aboard. My air rescue is on the prow. Go. There are already bodies, Schettino.”

Schettino: “How many bodies are there?”

De Falco: “I don’t know! One for sure! I’ve heard of one. You’re the one who has to tell me how many there are. (bleep)!”

Schettino: “You realize it’s dark here and we can’t see anything…”

De Falco: “And what? You want go home, Schettino? It’s dark and you want to go home? Get on that prow of the boat using the rope ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what they need. Now!”

Source: New York Daily News

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Man… unbelievable the cowardess that unfortunately comes with the whole “being a human” deal. My first response is to want to lambaste Shettino, but then I realize there have been times when I’ve taken the easier approach simply because I didn’t have the nerve and dignity to stay on board the ship and handle things nobly. Thanks for the challenge, Andrew, I like your application of this event.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Incredulity right?

      Thanks for your honesty Stephen. We’ve all been there haven’t we. Just good to be aware of what part we’re playing–De Falco or Schettino.

  • Oy! I think De Falco and Schettino are the voices in my head. The one who clings to the comfort zone is always getting yelled at by the one who’s never satisfied.

    I read your Day Job post, too. By choice I haven’t worked at a day job since late ’09, so I’ve really had to dig in and provide myself the validation that used to come from the regular paycheck. There’ve been a couple of comments that remind me to keep creating—”You don’t know how many people you inspire, whether you know them or not” and “What you write inspires me.”

    That helps to keep too many bodies from piling up on my watch.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Someone is always cheering us on from the sidelines…

      Incidentally, I love hopping by your blog Scrollwork; your perspective and posts always get me thinking.

  • Diane Zahn

    This is a big picture of how we matter, well I ever be in such a big picture? Until then, I’m learning that the littlest of personal thought and action matter greatly. DAZ

  • Ken Stewart

    No man is an island, however much he might want to escape to one!

  • What a challenging story to think about and apply in our own life. Thank you for sharing it.