CAPTAIN SMITH -
ARE YOU ON THE BRIDGE ?
In the great tragedy of the Titanic one enduring mystery has remained. Captain Smith who infamously called the ship unsinkable was apparently sleeping when the ship hit ice. By some account he was on the bridge and remained there till his end. By other accounts he shrugged off the news and kept sleeping. The watch tower of the Titanic was either unmanned or manned by a very junior person at the time.
The question to Captain Smith and to every leader is “Are you on the bridge ?”
To be on the bridge means to be on the front line and to be in the thick of the action. It means to know what is happening in the market place by talking to consumers and customers. It means to be connected to our own teams closely to know how they are feeling and how to motivate them.
How do we get on to the bridge and stay there
- Talk to customers everyday
- Talk to consumers every week
- Ask questions about your industry to other experts and even competitors
- Study industry blogs, journals and sites
- Join external conferences
- Set up time with your teams to check in with them regularly on how they are doing
Good leaders are always on the bridge. They love the challenge over the horizon and want to anticipate the future so that they can prepare for it.
Good leaders want to be connected externally and not be bogged down internally.
Good leaders know that being on the bridge makes them visible and their message clear.
Good leaders are on the bridge to show everyone the work ethic that matters.
Step onto the bridge. Be the first to greet good news and the first to welcome bad news.
The bridge was made for leaders, not for lookouts.