by Dr. Fred C. Campbell
Leadership is a risky business. The fine art of sailing an organization through stormy waters can endanger not only the leader, but also the followers on board.
E.J. Smith, Captain of the Titanic, knows. Foolishly ignoring six iceberg warnings, he ordered the crew “FULL SPEED AHEAD.” Why?
This would be the Captain’s final voyage before retirement and he wanted to arrive ahead of schedule.
On April 14, around 11:30 PM, a 100′ iceberg scraped the Titanic’s side, slicing open over 200′ of the ship. The boat immediately flooded with water. At 2:30 AM, the unsinkable ocean liner sank in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean with 1500 passengers, the Captain and crew. Only 712 survived.
THE SHIP WAS SOLID, STRONG; THE LEADERSHIP WASN’T.
Leaders are like captains. They set the direction, determine the speed, command the crew, and assume responsibility for those on board. When leaders (like Capt. Smith) take risks for their benefit only without regard for others, they chart a dangerous path to a collision.
Leadership is at its best when it moves from self-serving to self-sacrificial. It’s the way Jesus led, the world’s finest and only perfect leader for all time, for all organizations, for all people, for all situations.