One of the displays at the Arch highlighted that “hundreds of lightning bolts strike the Arch each year.” Instead of that causing a problem, engineers planned for such occurrences and attached a series of lightning rods on the top of the Arch and grounded them in bedrock so no adverse effects were created by the storms.

What is the equivalent of lightning in your organization? Maybe you need to create “lightning rods” to absorb seasonal fluctuations in revenue. Perhaps your lightning takes the form of unexpected transportation delays and you need to have alternatives on standby. Or your lightning could come from external policy proposals that require you to have good community connections as shock absorbers.

Just as lightning frequently strikes the Arch, the atmosphere of your organization will be hit with random disruptive shocks. Best to place your lightning rods into your bedrock in advance.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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