When You Have a Chance to Create Direction, Do You Take It or Do You Defer?

It’s been an interesting week. I traveled to New York over the weekend for business and as you can well imagine tropical storm Sandy and her aftermath have kept me here since. I’m safe and sound, and if you are on the East Coast I hope you and yours are as well.

I started writing this post on Monday and decided to share the process of living through and with Hurricane Sandy in New York where life as all know it has changed. New ways of thinking and arranging have come forward for all of those affected. I have written this from Monday through Wednesday as I moved through my process of acceptance and new arrangements for traveling:

Today is Monday, I find myself sitting out the super storm in New York City. It’s the afternoon and we are awaiting the landfall which continues to be predicted at an earlier as the speed of the hurricane accelerates.

The predicted path of the storm is being followed almost perfectly. It is amazing how technology can work so well even though the predictions were not what I had hoped. My wish was that the storm would stay in a straight path East out into the ocean instead of making the predicted left turn into the central Atlantic states. But here in New York the winds continue to build and there is no exit until the storm passes and we can begin the business of traveling again.

Since I last wrote I have completed the Global Institute of Leadership Development and once again was very happy to meet the leaders with whom I coached and consulted. The variety of situations I became involved with was amazing from a large hospital and medical school to one of the top executives in an international wine business.

As I spoke to these leaders, I was gratified to see how many of them were focused on the people within their organizations and the importance of collaboration and teamwork. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that the new culture needs to develop from the top down so that everyone has “permission” to step up to greater expression, empowerment and leadership.

For example, I had the opportunity last week to participate with a team in a pre-strategic planning exercise. Once again I saw a process where engagement can be created so that strategy will be implemented. There was discomfort, however, when the facilitators of the group did not provide a meeting structure, even though the processes for arriving at strategy and implementation were clearly outlined.

It is interesting to note that we often have left it to someone else to tell us what direction to follow. Yet when we are given the opportunity to create direction and focus do we take it or do we defer? How often do we complain about a situation rather than creating a solution and presenting that?

These are important questions and challenges that many organizations face, which our Strategic Planning Process addresses, outlined here on the Bridging Associates website, and helps leaders empower their teams to create direction rather than wait for it.

Wednesday: The storm has finally moved out of the area. However, the damage and changes to the infrastructure have kept most of the travelers here, including me. After several cancellation disappointments I have secured a flight out of New York and have been able to check in. I will fly home tomorrow through several cities to reach my final destination, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As I wait, I continue to reflect on the opportunities I have created in my own business and the expansion in my thinking, and how my experience relates to what I call the new business paradigm that requires a restructuring of mindset regarding success and the use of essential collaboration to achieve results.

Take a look at the Strategic Planning Process on the website. If you have time, it would be great to hear your comments on the blog site or via e-mail about how your experience has required creative thinking and a change in mindset to accomplish the goals for leadership and innovative practices in your organization.

Sending a special message of safety and healing for those of you on the East Coast.