With the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, there are many articles being written about the historic event. In addition, there are many commemoration ceremonies happening. The Wall Street Journal published an article titled Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Titanic Business 100 Years Later by Ben Casselman And Ann Zimmerman.
The article discussed some events that will go on this weekend. In the Fox Theatre in downtown St. Luis they will be holding “an elaborate re-creation of the final first-class meal aboard the ship.” “Memorial events are being held in Cherbourg, France, where the ship headed from Southampton, and Cobh, Ireland, its final port of call, as well as Cape Race, Newfoundland, which received the ship’s distress signals.”
Lessons From Leadership Failures
With all the news of the Titanic shipwreck, it got me thinking about leadership lessons on leadership failures that can be learned from the tragedy.
Listen To The Little People
Prior to the Titanic crash into the iceberg, there were many warnings from the crewman that there was an iceberg ahead but the captain failed to listen. As leaders, you should listen to ALL your employees, including the people that have what seem like insignificant roles. Every employee has a different role and with that comes a different point of view. As the leader, you can gain perspective from all your employees at each levels. As you hear their advice and feedback, be sure to listen to what they say, and take it into consideration when you make your decisions.
You Are Not Too Big To Fail
When the Titanic was built, it was said to be indestructible. With that came an attitude of invincibility. The leadership aboard the ship felt like they could go through anything and not get hurt. That attitude was so strong that when they heard of the iceberg they didn’t charge their course or make any other adjustments. They felt they were too big and too strong to fail. As leaders, you will never be too big to fail. You must always look for opportunities to do better and learn from your mistakes. If you become complacent with the “too big to fail” attitude, it will certainly lead to your downfall.
Be Prepared For The Worst
When the Titanic crashed into the iceberg, the crew and the captain were not prepared for such a catastrophe. They didn’t know how to respond to an emergency and the ship wasn’t prepared with the right number of lifeboats. As leaders, you must be prepared for the worst-case scenarios. You must identify areas where failures or emergencies can occur and prepare for them. If you are prepared, you will not fear the worst because you will know how to respond when it occurs.
What additional leadership lessons can you be learned from the Titanic? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.