The best way I can think of to explain how there are two different levels of leadership focus is to use the metaphor of tornadoes versus termites.
A tornado can level a house. You know what else can? Termites. Over time, termites, left unchecked, can bring a 2,500 square foot house down to a pile of brittle lumber. A tornado gets attention because it can destroy a house in a matter of mere minutes. But termites, eating away at the skeleton of a home over a period of six months to two years, tend not to get the same degree of attention, simply because their damage happens slowly. But let’s be very clear on one thing – whether it’s a tornado or termites, the eventual result is exactly the same – a house that is completely destroyed.
Tornadoes get attention
As a leader, catastrophes in your workplace get your attention. Whether it’s a virus that shuts down your computer network, a rail accident that impacts deliveries of your product, a flawed recommendation your firm made to an important client, or a significant accounting error that is discovered only after the financial cycle has closed, such situations bring your crisis management skills to the forefront. Continue reading