Effective Leaders Prepare For Hazardous Conditions

Posted in: Leadership, Leadership Development, Learning, Safety


The first winter storm of the season has come and gone. Roads were slippery. Cars were in the ditch. Traffic was backed up. Emergency vehicles were out in force. Injuries and even fatalities made the evening news. Mountain passes were hazardous and traction devices were required.

In the midst of a blizzard, it’s a little late to buy those snow tires you’ve been meaning to buy. If you’re lucky, at least have chains in the car AND know how to put them on. If you’re really lucky, you remembered to pack a warm jacket and gloves. If not… well then this is not your lucky day.

In business, like on wintry highways, it pays to be prepared before the snow flies. Good leaders know this. They understand the need to be prepared for inclement weather before it arrives. Hazardous conditions, from safety and compliance issues to project over-runs, poor productivity and below freezing profit margins, unresolved conflict and dipping morale temperatures. Whatever the hazard,they require swift response in order to stay out of the ditch,on the road and making steady progress toward the goal.

How do leaders prepare for treacherous roads ahead?


Leaders make sure that their team is stocked with provisions to make it through the storm, by loading up on essentials like:

Open Communication
Well defined goals
Clearly communicated expectations

Strong teams forge ahead when the going gets slippery. Leaders make sure that the team has what it takes to grip the road.

Commitment: Folks are committed to team purpose, goals and values.
Competence: Team members are equipped with the knowledge, skills, tools, information and habits that it takes to get where they are going.
Collaboration. Everyone pulls together. They play well with others and take ownership for team success.

The best way to protect your car and your team is the same. Keep up on maintenance.

Coach your team for success. Provides specific, targeted, timely feedback on performance and behavior.
Value contribution. While financial compensation matters, so do words of appreciation. Keep fuel tanks full so no one runs out of gas.
Take care of yourself. You are of no good to your team if you are not equipped for the road. Self care is an act of leadership.
Finally, kids have a lot to teach leaders about weathering a snow storm. Bundle up, get outside and play with your team in the snow. And then? Come inside, build a fire and make everyone hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.

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