Leadership Perspectives Blog

Let It Snow – Curious Lessons in Change Leadership

Great leaders possess a keen situational awareness and prepare their organizations for major challenges before they occur, before anyone notices.

There they are – the beautiful colors of fall showcased by a seasonal cool breeze that subtly foretells the arrival of an imposing climatic change.

One falls, then two, and then too many to count; the trees relinquish their leaves, their energy factories, in response to a shortened day, a lengthened night and an ever predictable event in the coming months.

A cold winter is surely ahead for which proper planning and operational readiness are a survival necessity. This they understand.

The tree’s branches are implementation devices, delivering on the organizational vision. When resources are high, productivity reaches maximum potential. Precious energy is then generated, stored and diverted towards the fulfillment of growth, thereby satisfying the tree’s mission.

When resources are critically low, productivity gives way to survivability. It is then that strategic actions play a key role, often dramatically, to assure the future growth and sustainment of the tree. Nature always makes the necessary compromises while maintaining the certainty of goal achievement in its line of sight.

In leadership, it also is critical to recognize early when brighter days succumb to darker ones. The sooner the leader understands what is happening, the clearer the vision, the better the decision-making process, the faster the recovery period. What worked six months ago likely is not the best option for adequately addressing what is happening now nor what is going to happen in the not too distant future.

Business environments and organizational effectiveness, like the seasons, are dynamic commodities. When carefully analyzed and considered, they both expose a breezeway that often leads to a host of solid decisions, the performance of which often exceeds expectations.

Great leaders possess this keen situational awareness and respond by preparing their organizations for major challenges before they occur, before anyone notices. They do so by maximizing resource allocation, by minimizing bottom line detractors and by empowering their organization to make the right decisions at the right time and for the right reasons.

So, as your morning alarm clock signals yet another opportunity for success, think about how to monitor the climatic temperature of your organization. Take a curious glance at that great big old maple tree on the way to work and ponder how it strategically and successfully survived the threat and prospect of change throughout its many formidable seasons.

Harvest these lessons and focus on the vision required to lead your organization towards delivering a pallet of spectacular color to every challenge, every time. In this way, spring and summer always will prepare your team (your branches) for the eventual fall and winter, both personally and professionally.

Let it snow.

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Advice, best practices and strategies for safety performance and professional development. For more, visit http://ehstoday.com/leadership.


Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic is an associate editor for EHS Today magazine, a Penton Media Inc. publication.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she has been in B2B publishing for eight years. Her work has...

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is editor-in-chief of EHS Today magazine, a Penton Media Inc. publication. She has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. She has been...
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