Keep Your Leader Ship from Hitting the Rocks

In 1707, Great Britain lost four warships and 2,000 sailors on the rocks of the Isles of Scilly, located off the southwest coast of England. It wasn’t that the location of the rocks was unknown — the maps of the area were very clear and accurate. The problem was the ships’ location. On that dark and foggy night, Admiral Cloudesley Shovell and his navigators tragically miscalculated exactly where they were.

For thousands of years ships were smashed to bits on the rocks of well-charted hazards like shoals or islands. Often this happened on much-traveled routes where the hazards were well known to navigators. But knowing the position of rocks on a map isn’t of much help when you don’t know where on the map you are.

In their Harvard Business Review article, “Is Yours a Learning Organization?” David A. Garvin, Amy C. Edmondson, and Francesca Gino write, “All too many managers are judged by the sheer number of hours they work and the tasks they accomplish. When people are too busy or overstressed by deadlines and scheduling pressures, however, their ability to think analytically and creatively is compromised. They become less able to diagnose problems and learn from their experiences. Supportive learning environments allow time for a pause in the action and encourage thoughtful review of the organization’s processes.”

We have five complimentary online tools available to help you pause and reflect on your progress. They’re designed to assess your leadership team dynamics and culture effectiveness to determine where to focus your development efforts. You can do these assessments yourself, or have your entire team participate. Check out all the tools (and related links) here or below:

There are hundreds of times more ships on today’s waters than 300 years ago. With GPS and other navigational technologies far fewer ships end up on the rocks — unless a cruise ship captain is overriding all warnings and going too close to an island!

Is your Leader Ship heading in the right direction?