On Sunday, my home state of California was hit with its first tropical storm in 84 years–Hurricane Hilary. Several important leadership lessons from the storm can be applied to various aspects of life and decision-making. Here are seven leadership lessons we can learn:
- Plan for the long-term. According to the New York Times, the last tropical storm that hit California happened back in 1939, and it caused mass destruction. During those 84 years since the last storm, leaders have used that time to plan. We as leaders should focus on creating sustainable solutions that address both short-term needs and long-term impacts.
- Collaborate with others. An event like a hurricane impacts everyone, and it’s only with true collaboration that complex safety initiatives can be enacted for all. We as leaders must emphasize the importance of working together across boundaries to tackle shared challenges effectively.
- Be proactive. Prior to the hurricane making landfall, highway crews were working around the clock on roadways, rescue units were mobilized, and communities worked to mitigate any potential damages. We as leaders must be proactive and not reactive when facing potential obstacles.
- Adapt and be resilient. When you’re dealing with something as unpredictable as the weather, it demands adaptability and resilience in the face of uncertainty. As leaders we should be flexible in our strategies, willing to adjust our approaches based on new information, changing circumstances, and unexpected challenges.
- Keep open lines of communication. Local and state officials were in constant coordination tracking the storm and helping residents prepare. Storm safety requires clear and transparent communication to drive informed decision-making. As leaders we should deploy effective communication strategies that educate and engage people, enabling them to make environmentally conscious choices.
- Embrace your ethical responsibility. As leaders, we should prioritize sustainability, environmental stewardship, and ethical decision-making in our roles, setting an example for others to follow, even during a challenge like an oncoming storm.
- Adopt a do-whatever-it-takes attitude. In the desert community of Cathedral City, rescue workers drove a bulldozer through thick mud to bring 14 residents of a mud-swamped care home to safety. Now that’s really a do-whatever-it-takes attitude in action!
So, what’s the message? By applying these lessons from Hurricane Hilary, we can discover new ways to strengthen thoughtful, collaborative, and forward-thinking leadership that doesn’t just help our team members find success but also allows our local communities to survive and thrive.
This article is adapted from Blefari’s weekly, company-wide “Thoughts on Leadership” column from HomeServices of America.