Walk Carefully   Leave a comment

English: A Syringa twig encased in a thick lay...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today brought another bout of freezing rain overnight.  That meant that schools were delaying their start times and everyone was told to slow down as they drove to work.  It also meant that the sidewalks were like being on the ice at a rink.  For those of us who have lived a majority of our lives in the upper Midwest, we have learned a special type of walking style for days like this…. the penguin walk.  You take short and rather shuffling-like steps instead of fast-paced and long steps.  This usually helps to keep you upright and allows quicker recovery time if you do hit an especially slick patch.

My experience this morning reminded me of some leadership points.  The first is to be sure to gauge carefully what kind of surface you may be on in a given situation.  What are the potential slick spots?  Where may be the surprises?  How should you proceed?  What type of steps are best suited for the situation?  All of these questions will help you to determine if you are walking on  ice or if you are progressing normally.

The other leadership point that is raised in my mind is in regards to those situations that you do determine that you may be on potentially hazardous ground.  These would call upon the leader to take caution much like what is necessary on the sidewalks after freezing rain.  The leader needs to make sure that she/he is choosing the right kind of steps and pace best suited for the situation.  Moving too quickly or taking too large of steps can quickly bring the whole situation down and usually the leader experiences the pain.

Ice does not have to halt any of us from proceeding through our day in most situations, we just walk like penguins and apply ice melt.  Slick spots for a leader does not have to stop progress in the organization, the leader just needs to know where they are and proceed with appropriate caution.



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