Leadership Musings from the Blizzard of 2016

Did you survive last weekend’s blizzard? If you live in a large swath of the eastern seaboard of the United States, you experienced quite the storm. Of course, you may be tired of thinking about it because it dominated our lives for a few days, but I wanted to share a few leadership musings.

New York City received 26.8 inches of snow, and just missed tying the record set in February 2006 by a skimpy one tenth of an inch. I was contemplating the idea of “not quite coming in first” which triggered some thoughts about superior performers.

Superior performers strive to be the best and to come in first whenever given the opportunity. Think about what happens when your team misses achieving a revenue record by a scant amount or doesn’t get awarded an important deal.

Superior performers immediately evaluate what went wrong and plan how they can improve their performance the next time. Others come up with ways to spin the results and make excuses. What tone do you set as the leader?

The second musing is a reminder about collaboration. Whether it’s lending your snow blower to your neighbor or going to the store for an elderly neighbor, big weather events tend to bring out the best in us.

What happens in your workplace? Do your employees lend a hand to co-workers who are under a deadline or to someone who missed a few days of work after being out with the flu? Are your people cooperative or siloed? What behavior do you reward?

My last musing is about being present in the moment. Stranded by the storm? Not able to do what you had planned for that day? You make the best of it and enjoy the moment.

We deal with this in the workplace all of the time. We have a plan for the day that gets waylaid because something else takes priority. We need to be present in the moment to get the job done. Leaders guide their employees over these bumps, so you want to model flexibility, not being frazzled.

By the way, if you didn’t see the delightful video of giant panda, Tian Tian, playing in the snow, please take a minute to see a fabulous example of being present in the moment!

Have a great week!

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