Trying to explain why your company or industry is a mess? Spare them the “perfect storm” metaphor.
It’s an appealing image for leaders who find themselves pummeled against the rocks during a rough economy. A perfect storm lets them off the hook. Nobody could have predicted a once-in-a-century storm, right?
But remember: In Sebastian Junger’s book, the skipper of the Andrea Gail did receive warnings that he was heading into what could be a monster storm.
He chose to ignore them. After all, the weather around them had been calm, and worrywarts were always piping up about this or that.
Bottom line: What overturned our economy was not a perfect storm but a failure of —a failure that becomes worse each time leaders refuse to take responsibility for their misjudgments.
— Adapted from “A Perfect Storm? No, a Failure of Leadership,” Steven Pearlstein, The Washington Post.
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