Many millions of us this summer took to the expressways of North America, and most of us reached our destinations safely. I find myself amazed at how few the accidents are when highways are crowded with hunks of metal traveling at 60, 70 and even 80 miles per hour.
There are three actions on a fast-moving expressway that jeopardize the health of travelers that are like three actions that jeopardize the health of organizations.
- First, if any number of drivers defies heavy traffic or wet pavement, then the well-being of all the others is at risk.
- Second, if just a single car ahead of a crowd of others slams on the brakes, then a chain reaction collision is likely to follow.
- Third, if a driver fails to look around and indicate the intention to change lanes, then those around that car must take evasive actions to escape trouble.
Likewise, organization leaders who move forward too fast without regard to their environment, leaders who suddenly slow down or stop their forward motion, and leaders who fail to consult with those around them and clearly signal their intentions to make a change, put their enterprise at risk.
Lessons for the office, learned on the road.