Golden Stripes

Pin it

Golden Stripes Book coverGOLDEN STRIPES, leadership on the high seas 

- captain VS PARANI, fni, fics, mimarest


Do you want to shine as a leader at sea? How can you successfully navigate a multimillion dollar ship across boisterous seas and icy waters? How do you make mission-critical decisions every day, and keep your crew safe, motivated, and productive?

Golden Stripes – Leadership on the High Seas is the first comprehensive leadership book for mariners, written by a mariner. Captain Parani shares the trials, tribulations and insights on his way to become the youngest ship master in a fleet of over a hundred ships, and later as a corporate executive. In Golden Stripes, you’ll discover how to:
  • learn from and be inspired by gripping real-life stories.
  • develop your expertise building strategies to solve problems.
  • stay alert in an ever-changing environment.
  • lead your team effectively to run a tight ship.
  • adopt resourceful mindsets, practical tools and new models in management and leadership.

A leadership action plan for a ship’s navigator or engineer can apply to any professional. Golden Stripes has been recommended as a ‘must-read’ for everyone in the maritime industry. The book also garnered international acclaim from thought leaders in the field of aviation, human factors, safety management and leadership. Go ahead and be a Golden Stripes leader!

Invest in your own copy today! It contains years of maritime wisdom, all in 192 pages, in a collector style hard-copy. Part of the proceeds from the book are donated to the Mission to Seafarers. Order at Whittles Publishing ( For bulk orders for your fleet, seafarers, office or training academy, contact Sue Steven (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for discount options.




"Inspiring leadership lessons from the sea"

Rear Admiral Robert O Wray Jr, United States Navy (ret), Saltwater Leadership


"Captain Parani writes with clarity and authority. Through a blend of anecdotes and analyses, this book motivates the mariner to lead effectively at sea".    

Captain Steve Clinch, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), United Kingdom.


"I believe Captain Parani's book addresses a gap in maritime education and one that maritime universities are starting to realize. For too long we have focused on increasing the technical competencies of our graduates and are now realizing the most important ship in their career will be leader'ship'. Golden Stripes highlights the value of leadership through stories, quotes and experience and is an excellent primer for cadets and a companion book for experienced mariners".

Glenn Blackwood, Chairman, International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU); Executive Board, World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden; Executive Director, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.


"As President of the Nautical Institute I believe Leadership and Human Factors will be two of the most important issues in our industry in the coming decade. Golden Stripes comprehensively addresses these issues and provides an easily understandable template for ships officers to develop a personal code of ethics and standards for their careers".

Captain Robert Mc Cabe, FNI, MSc Mgmt. President, Nautical Institute (NI), London.


"In Golden Stripes Captain Parani combines the credibility of his seafaring experience with his talent as a master storyteller to reveal the leadership challenges at sea and his strategies for staying on course. He transports you to the heart of the action in the engine room, the deck, and the bridge of the ship. Long after you’ve put this book down, you’ll remember the hard-earned and valuable leadership lessons Captain Parani so artfully conveys. It’s a one-of-a-kind book that every mariner will treasure".  

James M Kouzes, co-author of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge; Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, USA.


"This is a very interesting book on leadership that draws on the author’s maritime experience. It is both entertaining and informative, and provides practical advice for those who aspire to a management or leadership role".

Professor Jane Smallman, PhD, CSci, CMarSci, FIMarEST, President Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), London.


"Captain Parani has keenly observed and noted what he has learnt in his career. There is a coherence and an elegance to what he offers his colleagues in this book. I am convinced that Captain Parani has more to say, more to offer, more to explain and elaborate, but he has the good sense of knowing where to stop and the dignity of telling us what we need to know".  

Professor Sidney Dekker, MA MSc PhD, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, Griffith University, Australia; best-selling author on human factors and safety;


"Finally a book on leadership at sea that is anchored in real life where the consequences of leadership failure are deadly. This book lays out clearly with numerous dramatic stories how leadership, team work, training, and safety management all have to combine to make this major industry work for all of us. What we learn applies to all of our daily endeavours".  

Edgar H Schein, PhD, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts; author of Organizational Culture and Leadership.


"What does it mean to be a leader on board merchant ships and what does it take to become a good and effective leader in the merchant navy? These are the two most prominent questions Captain Parani provides answers to with his excellent book on leadership in the merchant navy. Based on his own experience Captain Parani gives evidence of how important proper and effective leadership is for the safe conduct of the ship and at the same time explains how the necessary skills can be acquired by future but also present shipmasters".

Captain Willi Wittig, MSc, Associated Professor of Maritime Human Resource Management, HSB - City University of Applied Sciences, Bremen; Deputy President, The International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA), London.


"Golden Stripes describes a particularly powerful and effective approach to developing leadership skills on a ship--or anywhere else. Captain Parani weaves together lessons learned from his own remarkable career with cutting-edge insights from psychological research on expertise to produce this invaluable step-by-step guide to becoming a leader on the high seas".

Robert Pool, PhD, co-author of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.


"There are numerous books on leadership, but few have been more concisely written as Golden Stripes. Focused on the merchant mariner, it contains material that is applicable to all persons in leadership positions and to those who aspire to become effective leaders. I wish it had been available when I first became an officer".

Captain Dennis L Bryant, US Coast Guard (ret); Principal, Bryant’s Maritime Consulting.


"This is an extraordinary book, from a real captain of the seas. Leadership is usually a mushy subject, but I was gripped by this. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to lead anything, anywhere".

Richard Koch, author of million-copy-selling The 80/20 Principle.


"Effective leadership combines natural ability with learnt skills, learnt mostly through experience and reflection. Captain Parani shares with us a wealth of his own observations and experiences, and also draws on those of others. He brings vividly to life what it means to be a great leader of mariners, whether in port or in the loneliness of the high seas".

Andrew Mayo, Professor of Human Capital, Middlesex University Business School, UK; Founder of Mayo Learning International and author of The Human Value of the Enterprise. 


"Leadership at sea is an important issue worldwide. The Dutch Shipmasters Association (NVKK), of which I am a member, has identified it as one of its priorities. Leadership is a complex, multi-faceted issue inspiring considerable theoretical studies. Captain Parani has brought maritime leadership down to earth, or rather sea level: practical, encouraging us to never stop thinking, to never stop asking, to never stop learning. These are the most important traits for us all".        

Captain Ed Verbeek, Verbeek Nautical Consultancy and Training, Netherlands.


"Golden Stripes has the potential to become a standard exposé on leadership for the maritime industry. Captain Parani uses a very balanced mix of known industry cases, anecdotes from his own experience as well as leadership concepts and pragmatic advice. Any experienced mariner will be reminded of countless situations in the past, where the book's content should have been applied. Any cadet can use it as a source of what to expect and how to drive their own progress in leadership. But over and above many of the concepts promoted by Golden Stripes can be easily transferred to other demanding industries, where being a responsible leader can save lives or otherwise prevent huge damages. Captain Parani, thank you for writing this book!"      

Markus Schmitz, Executive Committee Member, InterManager; Managing Director, SOFTimpact Ltd, Cyprus.


"This book is a must read! Great leaders produce great results! Each one of us is a leader! Whether leading as the Captain of vessel, a CEO, a stay-at-home parent, a teacher, a coach or as someone leading their own lives. The ideas that you will get from this book, based on years of experience at sea, will inspire, stimulate, encourage and teach you the things that great leaders do. Congratulations Captain Parani on a wonderful book".  

Steven R Shallenberger, author of Becoming Your Best, the 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders; founder of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, USA.


"Golden Stripes is a great leadership handbook, that has lessons not just for mariners but also for professionals from all walks of life".    

John Adair, author of the best-selling series which include Effective Leadership, Effective Communication and Effective Teambuilding.


"Golden Stripes makes an important contribution to seafarers of all stripes desiring to become better leaders. It does a terrific job of blending leadership theory with practical, hands-on maritime experience. Captain Parani has clearly caught the vision of the transformative power of being a professional---something near and dear to my heart".

Bill Wiersma, Principal of Wiersma and Associates USA; bestselling author of The Power of Professionalism—The Seven Mind-Sets That Drive Performance and Build Trust.


"This book is a must read for anyone who manages risks and wants to lead safety. Golden Stripes shares lessons learned from real-life cases and potential solutions for such situations".      

James Roughton, CSP, CRSP, CET, R-CHMM, Six Sigma Black Belt; author Safety Culture: An Innovative Leadership Approach and Job Hazard Analysis, Second Edition: A Guide for Voluntary Compliance and Beyond and of the training course, ‘Why is it Important to Understand the Perception of Safety?’


"Golden Stripes applies Captain Parani’s experience, wisdom and learning to leadership and team working at sea. His deep knowledge is communicated in a beautifully readable and engaging book, sharing lessons that will change your thinking about the importance of team working and leadership at sea. It is a delight to read and the stories Captain Parani tells bring the vital lessons to life for any seafarer. Golden Stripes is indeed a rich treasure trove of knowledge about leadership and team working at sea".  

Professor Michael West, Professor of Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University Management School, UK; author of Effective Teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational Research.


"Golden Stripes has leadership lessons from the sea which are helpful for all professionals. I used some of the practical techniques in my hospital and it made my life easier".  

Dr Rajesh Botchu, MBBS, MS(orth), MRCSI, MRCSEd, FRCR, Consultant Musculoskeletal Radiologist, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, UK.


"Golden Stripes makes an important contribution to leadership at sea. By asking seafarers to focus on safety management and more importantly safety leadership Captain VS Parani ensures safety is and should be the primary concern for those charged with the safety of others".

Robert B Hafey, RBH Consulting USA; author of Lean Safety: Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management.


"Golden Stripes is a well-researched and valuable book for all commanders, both in shipping and in aviation".

Martin Leeuwis, Fighter Pilot & Airline Pilot KLM (retd.), and publisher of 30+ aviation humour and cartoon books,


"With this book, Captain Parani sails through a sea of leadership stories and offers us a vista of inspiring examples and experiences. Skip this book at your own peril!"

Jurgen Appelo, Top 50 Leadership Expert on Inc.; author of Managing for Happiness.


"When I wrote my books on decision making and meeting technique, I was thinking about life on dry land. VS Parani’s remarkable book Golden Stripes takes management into a different dimension and environment. 71% of the earth’s surface is water, and we should all take lessons from shipping more seriously. I am humbled and delighted that Captain Parani found some of my ideas useful in the context of leadership at sea".

David Wethey, author of DECIDE: Better Ways of Making Better Decisions and MOTE: The Super Meeting.


"Golden Stripes is a valuable and accessible handbook on leadership for seafarers. Captain Parani is a lively and engaging storyteller who draws together true and compelling maritime examples of best practice and disasters to illustrate the many lessons of leadership in a very practical manner".

Dr Jacquie Drake, Founder and CEO,


"Is a leader born or made? Whatever you believe it is commonly accepted, that leadership qualities can improve through study, training, methodical application and practice. Continuous improvement makes the difference between a good leader and a great leader. Robust leadership is particularly important at sea, where mistakes or omissions are judged harshly. This book is a very useful tool for those who strive to effectively lead their teams at sea, but also very relevant to those who communicate with vessel Masters, giving a strong insight to challenges associated with command, effectively breaching the divide between shore and ship. In addition to merchant seafarers, I see it equally useful to Ship Owners, Ship Managers, Operators, Charterers, Port Agents and Port Managers".

Michael Taliotis, International Chairman,The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), London.


Golden Stripes is essential reading for all those at sea. Captain Parani covers both the soft skills and hard knowledge required to lead at all levels. He shows us a maritime frame of mind that allows for the many uncertainties in the maritime environment, and does so with depth (from many safety investigations), with breadth (using insights from Ayn Rand to Napoleon), and with clarity. I highly recommend this book’.    

Andrew St George, author of Royal Navy Way of Leadership; founding partner Fathomicity Ltd, UK.

Thanks! We'll be in touch shortly

Or tell us a little about yourself and sign up for news letter