No joke, I just got off a cruise ship today owned by the same company. We watched the news updates of the Costa Concordia sinking while sailing on our ship off the coast of Cuba (see below). It was not amusing.
After reading reports and watching various videos, I have some questions:
Why did the captain go to shore hours before the last passenger?
Why did they continue to tell the passengers it was merely an electrical issue?
Why was the evacuation so disorganized and delayed?
The answer is: Leadership!
In this case, it was a lack of leadership. Here are six lessons we can all take from this leadership debacle:
It’s not “if” bad things will happen, but “when”. We must always be prepared.
When bad things happen, we must meet the challenges head on. We cannot deny them. We cannot hide from them.
Leaders must care first about those under their care. Will anyone follow that captain again when he gets out of jail?
It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s not okay to make people suffer or die covering them up.
When everyone knows there’s a crisis, communication is key. Silence creates more problems.
If you don’t have a real leader, you must be the leader. We need you!
What happened on the Costa Concordia is inexcusable. It is wrong. Someone must make the hard decisions. Someone must communicate.
This wasn’t just a failure of the captain to lead in the moment. It was also a failure of the captain to surround himself with real leaders.
Nobody had to die.
As I’ve said before, there is a place for bravery in a modern world. Leaders must face their mistakes. Leaders must be the first into danger and the last to leave it behind.
Leaders must speak clearly, honestly, and with strength to take scared followers and turn them into brave warriors as they face their own battles each step of the way.
Does it feel like New Year’s Day keeps coming faster and faster each year?
What is changing?
Every year I can’t help but think of the people I know that had big plans, huge hopes, and daring dreams for the last year. I’m always pulling for my fellow warriors, so I hate when it’s all talk, no action.
Warriors go to war, they don’t just talk about it.
I’ll never understand how some folks act like there’s an unlimited supply of days like today. Fresh starts. New years.
Here we go…again?
The problem is we only have so many new years before we run out. This is a sobering thought for sure, but true nevertheless. What would you do if this was your last New Year’s Day?
Would you still keep dreaming or would you start doing?
If you need a calendar to push yourself, take it. But please don’t keep putting off what matters.
Disclosure: I had surgery recently and am back on prescription Vicodin after trying to get off the pain meds too quickly. I’m learning some new lessons and think they might be applicable to everyday life. Hear me out.
We can learn something from my pain.
Here is what I notice as I try to work through the pain and medication:
I forget things and I repeat myself.
I won’t say things as well as I could if I wasn’t in pain or medicated.
I use bad grammer.
I get distracted from what I’m working on.
I repeat myself after I forget I already said something.
I ramble on.
I wonder if we all make similar mistakes when coping with the pain of going through a breakup, dealing with death, losing business (or a job), or facing other severe challenges in life.
Many try medicating the pain away so they don’t feel it.
Others try ignoring it until they break.
Some try both.
Of course surgery is one thing and life is another. However, when we see a fellow warrior struggling to get back up after a painful incident, we should help. For those of us in pain, we should accept help.
We can’t afford to ignore it. We don’t have time to waste.
All of us are guaranteed pain in life.
It’s how we deal with it that determines our future. We can’t do it alone.
PS. If you’re curious how I’ve been tweeting, feel free to follow me at my @Biebert account. Unfortunately, the new new twitter won’t let me reply twice, so I’ve left some of the bad tweets. I probably should take the advice of my doctor and sleep more, tweet less. Let me know what you think.
Zookeepers breed endangered species in captivity to save them from extinction. However, something bad usually happens.
When they release them into the wild, the animals that were bred in captivity often do not avoid predators and are not able to find ample food or shelter for themselves. They die as a result.
We are breeding humans in captivity.
In an effort to protect children from the dangers of failure or setback, some have made them unfit for the wild world they’ll be living in. For years, I’ve watched parents and teachers lie to their children.
In the name of self esteem, they comfortably praise children for everything they do, even when they fail to do anything special, smart, or strong.
You tried? Here’s a trophy or ribbon!
Unfortunately, this isn’t real life. Now that Generation Y is out in “The Wild”, they are surprised when the company they applied to doesn’t think they’re special, the words they write aren’t smart, or their strongest performance isn’t enough. They learn that anything but first place may not be good enough.
Confused, these young people move in with their parents, go back for more school, or join the Occupy Wall Street protests.
They were bred in captivity.
If we want our children or team members to know how to hunt or protect themselves, then we must teach them how at an early age. No longer should people be praised because they participated. It is lazy and easy to praise everyone for everything. Far more difficult and important, is to find the specific gifts that each person has, encourage them to use the gifts, and then support them as they fail, learn, and grow.
We must teach them to fish, not give them fish. We must show them the real world, not hide them from it.
We must let them fail.
The school of hard knocks teaches real life lessons. Losers will become learners. Failing may be the best thing that can happen to a young person.
I am an optimist. Even as I walk through tough, dark times, I can see a bright future ahead.
It keeps me going.
Though many 8pm Warriors are walking through dark hours in their business or career, I still believe the future is bright for those who invest in their future…especially now.
On Wall Street, we said “Buy when there’s blood in the streets”.
The man who is credited with that saying, an 18th century British nobleman named Baron Rothschild, made a fortune buying stocks during the financial crisis after the Battle of Waterloo. Many of those stocks were of his own companies.
His original quote is believed to be “Buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.”
The blood in the streets is our own.
I see it every day. Small business leaders struggling, talented folks doubting, so many wondering, “when will things get better?”
I get sad when I see those who stop before they get there, the leaders who quit on themselves, or the suicides of desperate warriors.
If you believe that you’re working towards something special, don’t give up hope. Don’t quit now. Invest in yourself.