Posts tagged lessons
Winter Driving Lessons for Business Leaders

Driving conditions for much of the Northeast this past Thursday afternoon and evening were downright abysmal. Weather forecasts had grossly underestimated the amount of snow and sleet that would blanket the region, often at blinding speeds. Road crews were slow to respond and were understaffed.

Traffic, naturally, moved at a grinding pace. My commute home, for example, was more than doubled.

Despite my less-than-ideal commute, there were some lessons from the experience that can inform decision making in more normative business conditions. (I guess having multiple hours of solitude can produce some useful insights.😀)

  1. Listen carefully to the forecast – While in this case, the forecast was somewhat misleading, in most instances knowing what is being predicted can vastly improve decision making. The same is true for the workplace. Before taking action that involves outside conditions, such as market and industry trends, seek to get as much information as possible. Then, use that information to guide your decisions. Sounds simple, right? Well, it isn’t, in part because business data is not presented as neatly as a weather forecast. Successful leaders know how much information they need (HINT: it’s not 100%) and then what to do with it and which traps to avoid when seeking to move forward.

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Life Lessons from the Pool

Today was a fun day. I set up our “new” pool (it was actually a replacement for a damaged one) and my kids, who had been pining for the pool since the last one collapsed, got back into the water again. They swam, splashed and genuinely enjoyed one another. It was a perfect activity for today’s sunny, hot afternoon.

While we definitely enjoyed the end result, there was much effort that went into the pool’s setup. For starters, I had set up the original pool on a slightly sloped area (no part of my back yard is perfectly flat). The water had previously caused the pool to sag to the downside and I wanted to prevent the same outcome this time. So I took my landscape rake and worked for some time to flatten out any bumps and reduce all elevations...

As I reflected on my morning of pool prepping, I thought of some lessons that have useful application to many areas in our lives. These include:

  1. Lay a solid foundation – All successful projects begin with a solid, smooth foundation. Whether it’s setting up a pool, launching a new product, or initiating organizational change, a strong foundation helps to ensure that the process will be met with success. When it comes to anything people related, the primary foundation of strong relationships is trust. In the case of a bringing a new product to market, seek to do the necessary research and testing to ensure that the launch will be a success.
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