Respect the Ice

Ok, so I am going to take a small minute and go on a minor rant. I hate watching people from the south drive in the Snow. It always goes...

Ok, so I am going to take a small minute and go on a minor rant. I hate watching people from the south drive in the Snow. It always goes 1 of 2 ways they are scared to death to drive and they slide all over the place and eventually go off the road or they have no respect for the slick roads and ice and they just go as fast as they can and eventually go off the road in a bad way.

Well the other day we had 4 inches (or so I say that lightly) of snow dumped on us in the ole city of Clarksville. As I was driving in to work that morning I thought I was going to loose my mind watching people slip and slide all over the place and drive at close to zero miles per hour. When I calmed down a little I realized that this same principle of driving in the snow applies to how a lot of leaders lead. If I’m honest with myself it is sometimes how I lead.

We have 2 sorts of leaders in this sphere. Those who tend to fear leadership and hold others back because they refuse to speed up and get moving even when everything is clear and all signs point to go. Then you have the leader that doesn’t respect the ice. They know best and we are going to keep moving at light speed with no thought to the conditions of the road and when they hit a patch of ice they go veering way off course because they swerved too hard and every one in the car (organization) gets hurt in the process.

I think this lends us to say that a good leader looks ahead to see what is coming. They speed up when the road is all clear keeping their eyes ahead and the slow down when the ice is coming. Not STOP, but slows down so they can best navigate their team through effectively and safely. The bottom line is there are times any organization where the terrain gets a little rough and you have to navigate meticulously and with purpose. You have to Respect the ice. Do not pretend it is not there, but don’t let your self be so afraid of it that you always hold yourself and the people around you back.

Be purposeful to speed up when it’s all clear and slow down when the road gets icy.

Here are 4 hints for navigating through tricky and tough times

Do Not Swerve – Out natural reaction when we hit ice and feel out of control is to jerk the wheel drastically changing our course of direction or causing us to go off the road completely. Stay patient and calm and make the necessary adjustments to make sure you stay on course.

Make minor Adjustments – If you have a vision for your organization then stay on course. Tough times and tricky situations will come up. Stay focused on the end goal and make adjustments along the way to insure that you and your team are still making progress towards the same goal. Every small situation doesn’t have to result in major overhaul for your team and your organization. Fight through the ice making minor adjustments and they will have major impacts.

Pick your moments – There are times to speed up and slow down. When I say slow down I don’t mean slow down productivity or to stop growing. I mean there are times where you need to take a breath and get you staff and leaders on the same page. When a tricky season or situation is coming take the time to invest in them and let them know what is coming and how they can prepare. Sometimes you can keep going at full speed and sometimes you need to slow down and make your adjustments. The successful leaders will understand the difference.

Eyes forward – You have to keep your eyes forward to see what is coming Chances are your team is counting on you to navigate them through any situation. For you to successfully do that you have know what is coming and what lies ahead. Do not get so focused on what is happening now that you forget to plan for the future health of you area or the organization as a whole. It’s a tough task but one we have been called to. Keep your eyes forward to potential roadblocks, slick spots, and potholes. Respect the ice!!

What would you add to my list?

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