I was due to be meeting the happiness guru, Dan Gilbert this week. Alan Weiss was hosting his seventh annual Thought Results Leadership Conference at the Four Seasons, Palm Beach and the author of Stumbling On Happiness was set to join us.
I hadn't paid much attention to the Hurricane Matthew warnings until the welcome cocktail reception on Tuesday evening where those who, unlike me, had experienced a hurricane before were rapidly booking flights out of there the next morning.
I remained quite relaxed and the information wasn't clear if Matthew would be hitting Palm Beach but when my colleague, Phil Symchych said "it's all about likelihood and severity Val" I started to change my mind. Phil's advice stuck with me: "Even if the likelihood is low, the severity is high so you make your decisions on that basis."
I still wasn't sure, so I immediately booked a one way refundable flight so I had an early escape plan if I needed it. I gave myself choices.
I see this demonstrated with the most successful leaders I work with. Those who give themselves choices are better prepared and can weather their own virtual or real storms. For example:
- Be ready with more than one option for who your successor could be, then an unexpected resignation won't have such a detrimental impact.
- Have a multitude of sponsors for your projects so when you need support you can rely on multiple people to back you up.
- Avoid tunnel vision when targeting acquisitions. Having multiple targets you are evaluating will allow you to make comparisons rather than all or nothing decisions which may hamper your judgement.
My back up travel plans allowed me to escape before the post-evacuation scramble, got me on a reasonable flight home, and gave me the gift of two bonus days at home to use as I choose. Without realizing it I had Stumbled on Happiness more than once this week.
How can you give yourself greater choices where it matters most?