Accidents Happen

On Saturday, the weather turned nasty. Winter had arrived once again in Michigan. We received between 3-7 inches of snow within a few hours. Driving became a brave undertaking.

Image Courtesy of Chris Scott

This happened as we had to make a 45 minute trip back from my sister’s home. It was not a pleasant trip. The normal 45 minutes took us 120 minutes.

The roads were treacherous. And we slowed down and drove with extreme caution. Even going as slow as 25mph on the highway.

At one point, I hit a patch of black ice. The truck was only traveling at a speed of 25-30mph. It was too fast.

Our truck started to fishtail. It swung from the driving lane to the passing lane and back again. We came close to hitting concrete barriers.

Thankfully we avoided an accident but it scared me.

It reminded me of what can happen to you as a leader

You are traveling along at a cautious pace. You are thinking everything is well. Then you hit your leadership black ice.

  • You said something inappropriate
  • Someone is offended and you have no idea why
  • You may be falsely accused

Regardless of how cautious you are, you will have close calls and accidents.

Things could get messy.

The real test comes in how you handle these incidents.

  • Will you reflect on what went wrong?
    Take time to reflect on what went wrong. Was it something that you could have controlled? Were you moving faster than you should have? What could you have done differently?

    Reflect and do what you can to ensure this won’t happen again.

  • Will you check on your team?
    In my instance, I had my wife in the truck with me. I asked her a couple of questions to make sure she was okay and not too badly shaken.

    You will have to check on your team. Confer with them and make sure they are okay and that they know what happened. Do not leave them wondering and in the dark.

  • Will you continue on?
    My wife and I had to make the decision on whether we would continue our trip home or find a place to stay. We chose to travel on.

    But we changed our path. We got off the highway once we reached an exit that would take us towards our home.

    You will have to make a similar decision.

    Will you continue doing what you are doing or will you stop? Will you continue and change your course? Or will you continue on and keep the course?

    The decision is yours, but it is one you will have to make.

Remember, no matter how cautious you are there is always the possibility of an accident occurring.

It is up to you to choose how you will respond to it. What will your choice be?

Question: Are you prepared to handle an unexpected accident in your leadership? What have you done to prepare? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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