Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!
This week’s focus: leadership
This week, a South Korean ferry capsized killing perhaps 300 people. The captain and crew were ill-prepared to initiate the proper contingent actions once the ferry ran aground. The children did what the adults told them to–stay put and wait for further instructions–which, tragically, resulted in many unnecessary deaths.
In 1988, I took up scuba diving. I took advanced training as well as rescue diver training to be better equipped to deal with possible underwater emergencies. A good portion of scuba training is about “what to do if something goes wrong,” e.g., your regulator (breathing apparatus) is accidently pulled from your mouth, someone accidently kicks your mask off, your mask becomes fogged up and you can’t see, you or your scuba buddy get a calf cramp, etc.
Eventually, I had an emergency in a small tunnel in Cozumel, Mexico, at a depth of about 90 feet. I became stuck and could not move forward to exit the tunnel. Scary? Yeah! I followed my training which had become instinctual and started with “stop, think, breathe.”
I quickly figured out what I was going to do next to extricate myself from my situation. I executed my plan and, as a result, what could have been a calamity turned out to be a minor speed bump during in my dive. I was most grateful for my training and dive instructors.
When you are in a leadership position, you must have a plan for what to do when the unimaginable happens–a plan that can be executed with great speed and precision. Think of Captain Sully Sullenberger–a U.S. Airway’s pilot–who, after bird strikes disabled both engines, glided his commercial airplane to a landing on the Hudson River saving everyone on board.
It doesn’t matter if you on the high seas or part of a business dynamic–both can catch you off guard if you don’t have a plan for dealing with the unimaginable.
Photo Credit: DavidWatts1978, Flickr
Thought for the week: