It’s that time of the year again. August, September, and October is the prime hurricane season in the Atlantic. Decade after decade, season after season, the tropical storms escalate into devastating hurricanes. The island of Bermuda in particular has had a long history of bad luck with hurricanes. From the Havana Bermuda hurricane of 1926 to Hurricane Emily of 1987, Bermuda has been a regular target of nature’s wrath.
Among the many tragedies and problems that arise from these hurricanes are lost homes, lost businesses, and lost possessions. But one of the most significant consequences is the loss of power. During Hurricane Florence, power outages in Bermuda affected nearly 65,000 residents including 23,000 homes and businesses. Imagine what life is like without power. Think about it, what doesn’t require electricity now days? Very little!
So, seeing the problems of the past and anticipating similar troubles in the future, Bermuda sought to address the inevitable threat of Mother Nature’s wrath. Rather than remaining victim to unpredictable hurricanes, leadership on the Island of Bermuda took control of their future by strategically placing many of their power lines underground so the strong winds and rain have minimal affect during storms and hurricanes. By applying some foresight, anticipating future problems, and understanding the environment around them, Bermuda’s power infrastructure began to change.
As a result of this strategic implementation, downed power lines have been minimized and the time for restoration has been cut dramatically. With some strategic planning and thinking ahead of the curve, life on Bermuda is a little bit easier, and residents can feel more relaxed and safe the next time the sirens sound and the dark, thick clouds approach.
Many great ideas never come to fruition because of a lack of discipline, foresight, or commitment to action. Mediocre leaders wait until the problem is raging and respond by reacting. The Island of Bermuda saw the bigger picture and took an initiative to prevent future outages. Spend money and do it right now and it will save money, time, and much grief in the long run.
The actions of those in Bermuda are examples of exceptional and powerful leaders thinking, anticipating, and seeking to solve problems before they occur. Strategic thinkers are proactive not retroactive. They don’t react to situations; they plan for them before they arrive. They look ahead to the future and take initiative to conquer or take advantage of potential situations. Strategic thinkers also take time to see the opportunities in mistakes they make.
Every day I see leaders and team members who think strategically and are not waiting until the storm clouds are setting in to take action. Organizations need these exceptional leaders and team members.
If you enjoyed the comments above, watch for the upcoming story about a CMOE consultant sailing in the Atlantic towards Bermuda and his real life example of strategy. It will make you laugh and cry.