My friend Jimmy shared 3 observations…or leadership lessons…that came out of the traffic meltdown in Atlanta this week. I thought they were worth sharing:
1) People generally made good decisions, but they made them too late.
It was the right decision to send people home early. It was the right decision to release trucks to spread salt and sand on the roadways. It was the right decision to bring in all off-duty personnel to help clear accidents and get people home. But, those decisions came a few hours too late.
2) You can’t practice for this.
Although there are many armchair quarterbacks and critics…the truth is that every organization has plans in place for these moments. You just can’t anticipate how they will work until they are tested. We (12Stone Church) had recently updated our inclement weather plans, decision-making process, and communication plans. However, the only way to learn what works (or doesn’t work) is to actually experience and execute those plans. And, its hard to capture (and improve) those lessons when the event only happens every 3-5 years.
3) There isn’t a single person/organization that makes the decision.
I laugh when the media says “we need to prevent this from happening again.” It’s a worthy goal…but wishful thinking to believe that 5+ million people can act in one accord in a moment like this. The governor, mayor, and school board chairman cannot legislate us into a solution. All it takes is a handful of individual (and ill-fated) personal decisions to shut down all our major roadways or other system that we depend upon.
Thanks for listening.