What Leaders Should Be Thinking When Things Goes Terribly Wrong
“How did things get this bad?”Â I have heard that statement many times in my life.Â Sadly, I have also uttered those wordsÂ more times than I wish to admit.Â Â The reality is that when things completely come apart in our leadership, it is oftenÂ not the result of one thing.Â It is usually the result of poor thinking skills andÂ a series of bad decisions.Â Let me give you an example.
44-year-old Randy Lee Tenley was recently struck and killed by a 15-year-oldÂ driver in Montana.Â This tragedy was completely avoidable.Â The following is an excerpt from the report from www.NBCMontana.com:
â€œIt appears the pedestrian was well into the driving lane,â€ said Montana Highway Trooper Jim Schneider.Â Officials closed Highway 93 for two hours on Sunday night, as firefighters directed traffic and officers investigated.Â What they found is troubling.
â€œAccording to his companions, he was out there in the ghillieÂ (military camouflage)Â suit attempting to incite a sighting of Bigfoot, to make people think they had seen a Sasquatch.
But, dispatchers received no calls of the sort, just the one that sent emergency crews rushing to the scene.Â Sunday nightâ€™s investigation is ongoing.Â Troopers say Tenley likely drank alcohol yesterday, but theyâ€™re still waiting on toxicology results to see if he was impaired.”
Let’s look at the progression of events as they are alleged in Tenley’s death:
- Tenley was disingenuous.Â He wanted to make people think he was a Bigfoot.
- Then heÂ did not value people.Â He was hoping to have fun at their expense.
- Then Tenley misused resources.Â A ghillieÂ suit is for military camouflage.
- Then he lacked self-control.Â Alcohol may have been involved.
- Then Tenley’s bad judgement continued.Â He was out at night.Â
- Finally,Â he placed himself and those who rely on him in harm’s way.Â He walking in the road at night in a camoflauge suite.Â
We may laugh and shake our head at this story.Â Â There were so many places where TenleyÂ should haveÂ come to his senses and ended his plan of deception.Â He could have said, “Grown men don’t pretend to be Bigfoot” or “I don’t need a military camouflage suit” or “I needÂ to get out of the street!”Â But he didn’t and we are left to wonder what was he thinking?
Leaders, when things go wrong with the people you serve or projects you lead, examine your thinking and the subsequentÂ progression of events.Â It possibly could have been avoided.Â
Leaders, this is also a word of warning.Â Perhaps you are early in the “bad decision” process.Â You can avoid a potentially catastrophic situation by beginning to make good decisions, rather than bad ones.
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