Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who's Slowing You Down?

Living on the East Coast gets a little edgy this time of year as hurricane season is upon us. Currently, we have "Isaac" headed our way. I caught wind of her journey over the weekend watching a Hurricane Tracker Video Update on YouTube.

As I watched the video, the narrator pointed out the island of Hispaniola, which is the home of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The significance of this island was interesting as it relates to hurricanes. On this island is a mountain range that peaks out at 8,000 to 10,000 feet. Were "Isaac" to pass through this range, the mountains would contribute to slowing it down or even breaking it up. Unfortunately, the forecast had the storm going just north of the range, rendering it obstacle-free and thus, full steam ahead.

As I observe many environments of leadership, I see how some leaders surround themselves with like-minded people. Not necessarily "Yes Men," but others who are on the same plane. They have similar backgrounds, networks and ideas.  In some regards, this is dangerous. It's dangerous because there's nothing in the way. Nothing to cause the leader to consider a different approach, a different angle, or to just stop all together.

Like the mountains on the island of Hispaniola, we need something or someone to get in our way. Not to break us up, but to at least, make us slow down to consider another perspective.  A man I admire once told me, "It's not necessary for the leader to be surrounded by people who think just like he does, so I try to make myself as necessary as possible!"

Have you surrounded yourself with people who think like you?

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