Titanic, CompuServe, and Worldcom…

Healthy, vibrant systems expand. The best grow organically and increase in proportion to their ever expanding capacity. Challenge keeps them reaching beyond the comfort zone and into the far edges just this side of chaos. Systems headed toward extinction contract. The root reason you don’t see the Polynessian people today is because they failed to see the symptoms of slow death until it was too late to reverse the tide. This same root is the reason the fortune 1000 is on average less than 40 years old. The reason there is no longer a system called CompuServe, or Worldcom is no different. All of ’em ignored the early warning signals and, like Titanic, slipped from sight suddenly even though their demise was anything but. I didn’t have a seat on the Titanic, but I was sitting near the top when both CompuServe and Worldcom disappeared. Not good…

So, my friend, when you extrapolate this learning to you and your system remember some history. Healthy, vibrant systems expand. And, when these healthy, vibrant systems experience a hiccup – no biggee. They learn and move on. Hiccups, however, don’t last for years. Healthy, vibrant systems calculate the trend before it’s too late to reverse. They get busy turning well before the iceberg is upon them. Leaders, do not experience a failure of nerve when facing facts. Instead, call ’em out. Make sure we course correct. Good…

Leaders, this is your job. You’ve got to read the tea leaves and anticipate the next move before the competition does. Leaders gotta know when to comfort and when to push. Today, we tend to coddle a bit too much. Tough and tender, remember. Tough and tender. Your systems longevity just may depend on your ability to sound the alarm before an iceberg impact is imminent. Your problem, most likely, is you’re too worrried about what others think and about being too extreme. Leaders call ’em out, anyway.

Leaders are decisive when it matters most. Are you?

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